HC Deb 27 July 1960 vol 627 cc1615-6
1. Mr. C. Osborne

asked the Postmaster-General how much money has been lost in each of the last three years, respectively, through Post Office robberies; how many robberies have taken place; if he is satisfied that the new steps he is taking to prevent robberies are adequate; if he is satisfied that the punishment which may be imposed upon those caught and convicted is sufficient to deter others; and if he will make a statement.

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Miss Mervyn Pike)

The amounts lost through robberies at Post Offices were £2,017. £7,290 and £5,421 respectively; and the numbers of robberies were 6, 28 and 17. The numbers of unsuccessful attempts at robbery were 20, 29 and 49. While the last-mentioned figures indicate that we are perhaps having some success in preventing robberies, this is not to say that we are satisfied with our security arrangements. I would assure my hon. Friend that we intend to go on trying to improve them. The question of punishment for offenders who are caught is not one for my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Osborne

In view of the rather alarming figures of the attempts to attack Post Office workers, and thinking especially of the village and rural postmasters and post-mistresses, may I ask my hon. Friend to contact her right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to see whether more severe punishments can be imposed on these men, who have caused a great deal of trouble to people in rural districts?

Miss Pike

The punishment is not a question for us, but we are prepared to do anything which will help in this matter.

Mr. Ness Edwards

Do the figures given by the hon. Lady include sub-post offices as well as Crown offices? Do they not indicate a rather widespread laxity in at least sub-office areas?

Miss Pike

They relate mostly to sub-post offices, and only two relate to Crown offices.