Mail theft on the rise and expected to increase: union
CTV British Columbia
Published Wednesday, January 15, 2014 9:11PM PST
The union representing Canadian postal workers says thieves are making off with Canadians’ mail and the problem will only get worse with the plan to replace doorstep mail delivery with community mailboxes.
“We’re hearing a lot of frustration and shock too at just the numbers,” said Stephen Gale, president of local 739 of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. “We don’t know the numbers but it seems to be increasing everyday almost. It’s a big problem. “
He said he hears many complaints from postal workers dealing with angry customers who have to drive to the post office because their community boxes have been broken into.
“Yeah it’s frustrating I had to drive out here now,” said Brent Rook – a Surrey resident who travels half an hour out of his way to get the mail. “[My mailbox] got broken into twice – once two weeks ago, once last week – but they say it’s up and running again, so we’ll see if it works this time.”
When reached for comment Canada Post declined an on camera interview with CTV News, instead releasing an email statement defending the community boxes as a secure mode of mail delivery.
It states the crown corporation is constantly improving its strategies to make the mail more secure by working with local law enforcement and investing in new equipment.
“Unfortunately, we are not immune to criminal activities but whenever a site is compromised, we work to ensure timely replacement,” the email reads.
But that is little comfort to Gale, who says the community boxes are a “one stop shop” for thieves who can steal mail from up to sixty or more addresses with a screwdriver or crowbar.
Canada Post is telling customers that its deliveries are secure, but Gale said they need to fix the problem before the rollout of the new mailboxes.
Canada Post had previously projected an annual loss of $1-billion a year by 2020 if it were to continue with door-to-door delivery.
In 2012, only about one-third of Canadians, or nearly 5.1 million people, received mail delivery to their door, costing an average of $283 per year for each address, according to the Canada Post annual report.
The rest of Canadians either visited a central location, like an apartment lobby, community mailbox, rural mailbox or delivery facility, which cost the corporation significantly less.
The elimination of all home delivery is part of a five-stage plan unveiled in December intended to save up to $900 million a year.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Scott Roberts