Thieving postie re-employed at Chiswick sorting office

New low for local postal system as theft seems to continue unabated

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The reputation of the local postal service has been further tarnished by yet more disclosure of theft.

Isleworth Crown Court has heard how one postal worker was caught stealing from the mail in other areas but then absconded only to be given a job at Chiswick sorting office.

Kisolokele Nsimba, aged 38, from Hamlet Gardens, Hammersmith, admitted theft of items from the mail on July 9 2003, failing to surrender to police bail and obtaining a job by deception in April 2004.

Previously he had been investigated due to the high incidence of undelivered mail on his rounds in Clapham, Putney, Mortlake and Barnes. An internal investigation team put him under surveillance placing some test packages, containing items such as credit cards, in the post he was to deliver. After none of the packages arrived investigators found them hidden in his car as well as other items from the mail.

As a result Nsimba was dismissed and the incident reported to the police. However, because he spoke hardly any English and there was difficulty getting a translator, he was released on bail to appear the next day. However he failed to turn up.

In April of last year he then applied for a job at Chiswick sorting office under a different name. He was successful in his application and continued to work there until another postal worker recognised him when he was on his rounds in October.

He was arrested and admitted the charges made against him which resulted in him being jailed for 20 months.

Many residents feel, given the number of cases of mail going missing, that successful prosecutions are the exception rather than the rule. In 2002 Chiswick Sorting Office gained the local nickname of Chis-Nick after some mail order companies refused to send orders there because so many packages were going missing. The staff themselves have been victims of theft with many of them losing out when a fellow worker absconded with their Christmas club money.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "There are not significant problems with theft in Chiswick, as our hard working and honest postmen and women will attest to. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft and will take the appropriate action where necessary. The level of customer complaints in Chiswick is low and continues to fall and the level of lost, delayed or stolen mail nationally equates to 0.005 per cent of the daily mail bag."

February 4, 2005