About that SingPost fine


Earlier this week, our local postal authority SingPost was fined S$30,000 for a mail theft incident in September last year. About 400-500 postal items were stolen from an unattended delivery trolley.

This article from Today, one of our local English newspapers, sums it up very neatly:

The postwoman had left a trolley of mail unattended but hidden… at the corner of [the ground floor of a block of flats] while she went to a washroom across the road. She did not take the mail trolley with her as it was raining, and she did not want to get the mail wet.

When she returned after 10 minutes, the mail was gone.

When I first read about this, I was surprised. SingPost is generally very good. After all, under the regulations, they have to deliver 98% of our local mail by the next working day. And their customer care has just helped me out with some mail that was mis-delivered to me, so they had my goodwill.

This was unfortunate for everyone involved, but they’ve been fined heavily and the postwoman counselled.

I was just going to let this go. Until I saw SingPost’s press release (pdf link), which lays the blame squarely on the postwoman’s shoulders.

What it doesn’t mention is that SingPost…

… had not issued any lock or chain for trolleys used by its postmen which increased the risk of mail being stolen. [Government] investigations also found that the nylon bags used by postmen were only slightly water-resistant. [source]

Mail theft is a serious thing. Data security is compromised; items don’t reach their intended destination. There’s a lot of hassle involved too.

I’m not trying to stir the pot, but it’s good to remember that our postal delivery people are only human and they are also limited by the tools given to them.

1 comment to About that SingPost fine

  • Yeah, I agree, it isn’t just the postwoman’s fault. She needs to be able to leave her cart to go to the loo! the lack of weather protection might be because singpost is cheap? haha. And lack of security might mean complacency on the part of singpost; sg is so safe and not many people think of interfering with mail. In the uk they have carts with a cover on top. But it rains a lot and postpeople wear raincoats. They also wear shorts sometimes. like last time policemen wear shorts…

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