LETTER: Community mailboxes attract plenty of trouble

The issue of theft and damage to the mailboxes are very real.

Re: Esquimalt wants more say in mail plan (News, May 27)

We moved from South Surrey to the Victoria area last summer. South Surrey became a victim of community mailboxes some time ago.

It is important that Capital Regional District residents be prepared for the same problems that plague community mailboxes wherever they are installed.

Putting aside all of the inconveniences previously addressed, the more disturbing issue of theft and damage to the mailboxes are very real issues.

It became so common place for thieves to destroy the boxes in order to steal personal banking, credit card and other documents in South Surrey that my husband and I chose to opt for a private mailbox at the local drugstore.

It is important to note, that once a community mailbox is damaged, Canada Post will choose a location to redirect the mail until repairs are made.

This can be a real issue for those unable to travel to the selected centre. In one instance in South Surrey, mail could only be retrieved between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

In other words, no one working standard hours could retrieve their mail. The chosen centre in this case, was a 10-minute drive from where the damaged boxes were located.

It was not uncommon for us to drive by community mailboxes with the entire block of boxes smashed open.

Canada Post claims taxpayers’ money will be saved switching to the community mailbox system, but at what cost?

Letter carriers will lose their jobs, and citizens will have to accept inconvenience and a much greater risk of theft of personal documents.

Canada Post’s analysis might indicate some benefits to switching to community mailboxes, but I cannot think of any after my experience with the system in South Surrey.

Wendy Lepper, Victoria