Royal Mail investigates former worker

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ROYAL Mail confirmed this week a former employee who worked at the Longridge Sorting Office is being investigated on suspicion of tampering with mail.

But Royal Mail only issued the statement after a Ribchester resident contacted The Longridge News voicing concerns residents had not been made aware of any problems with mail passing through the sorting office.

Raymond Chatburn, who lives at Fort Avenue said he only discovered what was going on after he did not receive a 50th birthday card from his daughter in London.

His birthday was Monday, January 23 and the card had been posted the previous Thursday.

On the Thursday after his birthday, Mr Chatburn said Royal Mail’s investigation team from Preston called at his home while he was out with the missing birthday card. It was explained to a family member that an employee at Longridge’s sorting and delivery office on Green Lane was under investigation for tampering with mail.

While Mr Chatburn could have the card, Royal Mail wanted to keep the envelope as evidence as they believed it had been opened. He was also asked if the envelope had contained anything else besides the card, which Mr Chatburn said he had to confirm with his daughter.

The next day, Mr Chatburn said he went up to the sorting office “to try and get some information out of them,” as he was concerned there may be other people in the Longridge area who might not have received mail, and were not aware of what was going on.

But Mr Chatburn said the sorting office staff declined to comment.

“It bugged me that they did not want to tell me anything. My concern is there are people out there who don’t know mail is going missing. I think they (Royal Mail) should have made some sort of statement,” said Mr Chatburn.

Royal Mail spokesperson Heulyn Gwyn Davies said: “We can confirm that a former employee is now being investigated. It is a criminal offence to tamper with or delay the delivery of mail. Anyone caught doing so will face serious disciplinary measures and Royal Mail will always seek to prosecute the tiny minority of people who abuse their position of trust.”

Mr Gwyn Davies declined to comment why Royal Mail had not issued a statement, but said he would write to anyone with concerns.