Something to write home about: Dulwich residents complain of missing post and parcels in sorting office changes

East Dulwich residents are angry at Royal Mail for not delivering the goods in the lead up to Christmas.

People of East Dulwich have complained of stolen credit cards, subsequent fraud, and important deliveries such as death certificates and time-sensitive hospital appointment letters taking more than a month to arrive.

Royal Mail sold the East Dulwich sorting office on Silvester Road for £7M in 2017 and since then, the residents who relied on this post office have had to make use of the Peckham branch – a 33-minute walk away.

Katie Randall, 32, who lives in SE22 had £270 stolen from a replacement credit card at the point of which it was posted to her.

She said: “Before the changeover to Peckham Post Office, I have had multiple bank cards be sent to us without any hassle… This might be an indication of people getting more desperate.

“I like to think it is just one person acting alone, who is maybe not in a great place – I hope it’s not some organised thing that is more malicious.

“Our concern is that it is certainly happening more often, and it’s not something we experienced prior to the changeover to Peckham from Silvester Road.”

There have been at least eight other instances of bank cards being intercepted in the post and fraudulently used, reported on an East Dulwich resident forum.

Ms Randall’s flatmate received a letter from the Home Office five weeks late, with the deadline for response having already expired by the time it arrived.

Those on the forum have reported the fraudulent transactions to be relatively small, with anything from £20 to a few hundred pounds being spent.

Ms Randall explained that locals suspect that this is why the police investigation has not been taken further, as the dots of quite minor instances have not been connected.

Another resident in SE24 with delays in deliveries, Ms Evans, has spoken to post workers who have said they are overworked, discouraged and leaving their jobs.

Ms Evans said: “There are definitely problems here. When we tried to mail something to the post box at the bottom of our road, it was too full to add anything else.”

Helen Hayes MP for East Dulwich, who has had hundreds of complaints from constituents, publicly opposed the closure three years ago and took this matter to Parliament in November to ask for an urgent intervention to sort out the delivery services.

Ms Hayes said: “Disappointingly, Royal Mail have not acknowledged the seriousness of the situation and the impact it is having on people.”

At the Westminster Hall debate, she said: “Many constituents have suffered consequences that are far more serious than being inconvenienced.

“Some have missed important hospital appointments for critical health conditions, some whose relatives’ death certificates went missing and those required to shield who did not receive the government’s advice on how to keep themselves safe.”

After recently visiting the Peckham delivery office, she said: “It is clear that staff there are working very hard, but they are being failed because their work environment is not fit for purpose.”

She explained that Royal Mail have been good at responding to individual constituent cases, but never acknowledged the extent of the impact on SE22 and the serious issues raised in the Westminster Hall debate.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Every item of mail is important to Royal Mail – we are working hard to deliver the most comprehensive service in the exceptionally challenging time.

“Despite our best endeavours, areas of the country may experience a temporary reduction in service.”

Royal Mail did not respond to queries about the many missing bank cards and fraud.

Featured image: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.

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