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Royal Mail issues warning about opening someone else's post

A woman is worried about her business after opening a letter which was not addressed to her.

Martha Chira, who has managed Neptune Fish Bar on London Road with her husband since 2003, opened the letter last Monday after it arrived at her home on London Road.

After discovering that it was regarding the safeguarding of a child, Martha contacted Children’s Services, in Grantham, who had sent the letter.

She said: “It was addressed to a man who we don’t know. I understand that it wasn’t addressed to me but as it was sent to my business, I opened it. I went to see the woman who had sent it. She asked for it back and when I refused, she said that I could be arrested and charged for opening it.”

Martha contacted the police herself, who after speaking with everyone involved, reassured Martha that she would not be arrested.

She later received a letter from Children’s Services to confirm that the address had been rectified but Martha is still not satisfied.

She added: “I don’t know what impact it has already had on my business. I am worried that people will assume it has something to do with us if they see my address linked to this case. This is my business and my livelihood afterall.”

Jo Kavanagh, assistant director of Children’s Services, said: “We can’t comment in detail about individual cases of this nature. We will investigate the matter thoroughly and thank the owner of the address the letter was sent to for bringing this to our attention.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Royal Mail’s duty is to deliver to the address written or printed on items of mail, or to an alternative address as agreed with a customer.

“The Postal Services Act is clear that a person is committing an offence if they deliberately open post which they know or suspect has been incorrectly delivered to them.

“If you receive mail intended for another person, such as a previous owner, it should be returned by marking the envelope ‘Return to Sender’ and placing it in any postbox. We would advise customers who are leaving a premises or moving home to use Royal Mail Redirection to keep their mail safe and secure. We would also suggest informing relevant businesses and personal contacts when an address is changed.

“Any customers concerned about their mail should contact Royal Mail Customer Services at www.royalmail.com, on Twitter @RoyalMailHelp, or on 03457 740 740.”

Martha Chira (2795627)
Martha Chira (2795627)

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