Protecting Postmasters and those who work in Post Offices from violence and abuse is a priority for Post Office and we are working with the British Retail Consortium, the Home Office, the Police and the National Business Crime Centre to ensure that violence and abuse against shop workers is a higher priority within Government and policing.

We’ve created a poster reminding customers that violence and abuse will not be tolerated, which is available to download here and will also be printed and distributed to branches this week.

If you haven’t already, we would strongly encourage you to register for the Post Office Grapevine service. The Grapevine service has been protecting Post Office since 2006 and can be used to report any criminal activity or suspicious behaviour, including incidents of violence and abuse, allowing the Post Office Security team to provide expert help and support to you when you are the victim of crime. The Grapevine team are able to escalate incidents to your local Security Manager, who can provide further guidance on how to handle difficult situations and will work with local Police to help you. You can register with Grapevine by contacting 0345 603 4004.

Our security team have provided the following guidance on how to deal with customers who are violent or abusive:

  • Firstly, and most importantly, you should always prioritise your own safety – nothing you sell is worth risking your safety over and you cannot protect others unless you protect yourself
  • If you are concerned about your personal safety, use your panic alarm or ring 999 to get an emergency Police response
  • Where appropriate, think about ways in which you can defuse the situation
  • When it is safe and appropriate to do so, you should report the incident to both the Police and the Post Office Grapevine service.

Further best practice on dealing with violence and abuse in retail is available in the following video from the Association of Convenience Stores. 

The ACS website also has some information and generic advice on its Crime Prevention pages