Retired cop raises concerns over new post office kiosk

McColls in Applegate Mews, Great Cornard ANL-150615-193737009
McColls in Applegate Mews, Great Cornard ANL-150615-193737009

A retired police inspector has questioned the safety measures implemented at a new post office kiosk in a Great Cornard newsagents.

The McColl’s convenience store in Applegate Mews, Great Cornard, was hit in an armed robbery in 2006 and former Metropolitan Police inspector of 31 years Graeme Pulham is concerned that a lack of apparent security measures could leave the shop open to further raids.

“It’s not only me that’s concerned so are a few of the staff,” he said.

“It’s just a plain counter, the plastic screen is inches high. Other than that there’s no security at all.”

Mr Pulham, 75, who had written to both the Post Office Ltd and McColl’s, said he had been told some staff members had refused to work at the kiosk because of concerns over safety, something Post Office officials would not confirm.

They were however quick to play down Mr Pulham’s concerns, insisting security was extremely important in all stores and kiosks.

A Post Office spokeswoman said: “New open-plan style counters have been installed at modernised Post Office local branches across the UK and are proving very popular with customers and postmasters.

“We would like to assure customers that we take safety and security very seriously, and before moving to open-plan working we conducted detailed risk assessments, and reviewed our security and operating procedures.

“Studies have now shown that training and the changes to work practices have resulted in reduced security risks in branches with these new-style counter positions.”

Mr Pulham questioned whether police advice had been taken on security measures before the kiosk was opened in May after being moved from Broom Street.

He suggested that for their protection workers should have a screen from counter to the ceiling all the way around in heavy duty plastic.

“I don’t wish to stir the pot unnecessarily,” he added. “If they were to come back and say we have security measures but won’t make them public then fair enough, but I haven’t had any response.”

Both companies made no comment on the letters received from Mr Pulham.