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Shropshire sub postmaster hits out at bosses after armed robbery

Telford | News | Published:

A sub postmaster who was the victim of an armed robbery has hit out at post office bosses who he says are not doing enough to protect its workers.

High Ercall post office has been shut since robbers wielding an axe struck at the premises on March 15.

They threatened sub postmaster Stephen Bentley before stealing an estimated £2,000 in cash and cigarettes and fleeing in his Jaguar.

Now Mr Bentley, 61, is calling for Post Office Ltd to consider improving security measures at rural branches across the country to reduce the risk of robberies.

He ran the outreach service from the village hall since the full time service previously based, in Shop Road, closed last summer.

But he claimed that there has been little contact from the company since the raid and as a result he may not carry on in the role.

"I haven't yet made a decision over whether I will carry on or not," he said.

"There is a lesson here to be learned.

"The Post Office needs to take more responsibility for what is happening on the ground.

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"It's not just about ours in High Ercall there are others operating up and down the country in similar environments without the necessary protection that is required.

"My concerns are not just about me.

"There are other staff who deputise for me and at other branches who are at risk of this sort of problem," Mr Bentley, also a councillor said.

"There is no closed circuit television and no protection.

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"They need to be offering something a lot more substantial than what they are doing a this present time.

"Since the incident they haven't come to even pick up the broken equipment that was damaged in the robbery.

"My partner Katrina contacted them on my behalf, but I haven't been spoken to directly by anyone.

"To say I am disappointed is an understatement," he added.

Post Office spokesman Michael Norman said: "The people who run our Post Office branches provide important services to local communities.

"Any robbery or attempted robbery is very traumatic for the victims and we will continue to support the postmaster at this time.

"We would like to reassure customers that we are trying to find a way to restore services to the area as soon as possible. In the meantime services can be accessed at Rodington Post Office."

The Post Office added that it will continue to support Mr Bentley and will be making further contact with him in due course.

A poster will be displayed in the community to advise customers of alternative branches.

Meanwhile a 44-year-old man from Telford has been arrested and given police bail until this week in connection with the armed robbery.

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