Postmasters are living in fear of raids

By Jonathan BarnesA SPATE of robberies on post offices across East Anglia has got sub-postmasters living in fear, a union boss has claimed.Jon Richardson, regional secretary of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters, said there were deep concerns of someone getting badly hurt in a raid.

By Jonathan Barnes

A SPATE of robberies on post offices across East Anglia has got sub-postmasters living in fear, a union boss has claimed.

Jon Richardson, regional secretary of the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters, said there were deep concerns of someone getting badly hurt in a raid.

He spoke out after a string of six robberies – most of them armed – across the region over three weeks.


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"There is a lot of fear among postmasters at the moment. They are very worried about what is happening," said Mr Richardson.

"It's been particularly bad this year – the worst for several years. The most worrying aspect is that so many of them have been armed. It concerns us a lot that people are willing to come in with arms."

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He added the run of attacks would make people "think twice" about opening a post office or even working in one.

"It's still very unusual for a post office to be raided, but the worry is that somebody is going to get badly hurt or worse. It is something that is causing a lot of concern," said Mr Richardson.

"You always live with the fear something like a raid will occur, it's part of the job to a certain extent. I just hope the police make some headway in catching the people responsible and they are given long sentences which act as a deterrent.

"Our advice to sub-postmasters is just to be vigilant and make sure that you have taken all the security precautions. There are measures being taken all the time, but there is not much you can do if somebody comes into a post office with a gun."

Mr Richardson also appealed to the public for greater help in catching the robbers and added: "I would like to ask people to keep an eye out for anything that might be unusual and report it to the police, anything like a car parked in a strange place.

"These raids are always planned and often they are quite similar. We need help to beat the problem."

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

POST OFFICE RAIDS

n 2pm, December 11 – two robbers, armed with a shotgun and a knife, threaten two women workers at Birch Mini Market and Post Office and escape with a substantial sum.

n 5.10pm, December 11 – two masked men, armed with what may have been shotguns, burst into Debenham Post Office, threaten staff and run off with cash.

n 5pm, December 18 – two men, one of whom was carrying a shotgun, raid a post office in Hacheston and escape with cash.

n 5pm, December 23 – two balaclava-clad robbers strike at Christchurch Street Post Office in Ipswich and threaten staff with guns, but flee empty-handed.

n 5pm, December 29 – three masked robbers target Shotley Gate Post Office and Stores, threaten staff and escape with cash. One man is arrested and later released on bail until February 11.

n 5.20pm, December 30 – two masked men, armed with a knife and what is believed to be a gun, threaten staff at the Exning Road Post Office in Newmarket and escape with a quantity of cash.

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