Stop opening my post, Kettering woman tells Royal Mail

Birthday and Christmas cards posted through her door have already been opened

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 11:08 am
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 1:38 pm
This is how two cards were when Hazel received them in the post.

A Kettering woman who has received cards which have already been opened has urged Royal Mail to take an investigation seriously.

Hazel Shears, who lives on the Ise Lodge estate, picked up post which had been put through her door on her 36th birthday last Thursday (March 11) to find someone had opened a birthday card from a loved one.

She said it's the third time it's happened, having gone through the same last Christmas, and that her twin sister who lives near the town's railway station had the same experience on her birthday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Envelopes to some cards have been torn open.

She says the situation is getting "beyond a joke" - but says complaints to Royal Mail have fallen on deaf ears.

She said: "It's never a water bill or an electricity bill which has already been opened - it's always a card.

"It's really frustrating and there's a bigger issue which Royal Mail have failed to get back to me on.

"This is happening everywhere. I've had a lot of people comment to tell me it's happened to them, elsewhere in Kettering, in Birmingham, in Coventry, all over the place. Some have said money has been taken from a card but getting a response from Royal Mail is impossible."

Fortunately the opened cards Hazel received were not sent with money in, but she fears it would have been stolen had there been cash inside.

She added: "I was very cross when it came through the door and I knew what it was because it happened at Christmas.

"Thankfully the person who sent the card hadn't put money in it, but that's not the point.

"Nobody should be opening someone else's post. I want Royal Mail to investigate what is going on."

Under the Postal Services Act 2000, it is a criminal offence to intentionally delay or open a post packet in the course of transmission by post, or intentionally open a mail bag.

It can be punished by up to six months in prison in a magistrates' court. If the offender is engaged in the business of a postal operator, it can also be punished by up to two years in prison in a crown court.

Stealing postal packets is an entirely different offence, as one cruel former Desborough postman found out when he was prosecuted for doing so.

In 2019 Desborough's David Starkey, who had been a postman for more than a dozen years, was given a suspended sentence for theft of postal packets.

He admitted stealing about 10 items of post a day for about 12 months - looking for greetings cards and money inside them to pay off his debts.

Royal Mail has been contacted for comment about Hazel's complaint but has failed to respond.