Mailbox theft – How to control and stop it!
Nobody likes nor tolerates theft except thieves.
Criminals have deliberately begun targeting mailboxes because they are an “easy target for thieves who find breaking into them relatively simple.” This is according to a study conducted by the Consumer Federation Of Australia.
A mailbox often has sensitive bank or identity information, so if your strata complex is experiencing mailbox theft, it can compromise your residents’ safety and your reputation.
Identity crime costs Australia roughly 1.6 billion dollars each year. This is why something so simple could have dire consequences if not mitigated.
Not all mailboxes are on common property. So, you must determine if your strata mailboxes are part of the common area or if they are, in fact, on private property. If they’re part of the common area, then the responsibly falls largely on you. But even if they’re on private premises, you can still alert and educate residents.
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What can you do?
Body corporate can invest in CCTV cameras and monitor the mailbox areas.
Oftentimes, mailboxes are conglomerated together. So, if one is broken, most or all are targeted. Having a monitoring system that keeps an eye on the mailboxes can help deter and catch thieves. Although it is quite an investment, it will provide a safety net and peace of mind to residents.
Another thing to consider is the actual security of the mailboxes. Each mailbox should have a secure lock and should not be accessed through the mail slot.
Australia Post recommends using unique locks per mailbox rather than a universal key. It’s important to ensure that it is not an easily breakable or pickable lock either and manage who receives a mailbox key.
If residents change, see to it you receive all keys back and even consider changing locks.
Mailboxes that are in obscure areas are easier to target than open and obvious locations. Make sure shrubs are not creating a hiding spot and the mailbox area is well lit. Also, keep it clean and tidy, ensuring no junk mail piles up and gathers.
How can you educate residents?
You can only do so much to mitigate the risk of mailbox theft, but residents still have their part to play. You can encourage and educate residents in your strata scheme in order to assist in preventing theft.
Going paperless is a great way to help the environment. It also eliminates the chance of sensitive information being delivered physically and falling on the wrong hands.
Of course, some things will still need to be delivered through mail. Perhaps you can advise that credit cards and other sensitive items will be picked up from post offices instead.
Encourage residents to collect their mail daily. It can quickly become obvious if there is a build-up of mail. And if there is mail sticking out of the slot, then it can easily be snatched even without any lock-picking.
Developing a habit of collecting mail every day is crucial.
If residents go on holidays, urge them to make arrangements with post offices to hold their mail or instruct a trusted family or friend to collect the mail.
These are just some important ways to help prevent mailbox theft which can lead to greater crimes and problems.
Don’t let your mailboxes be compromised and assure your residents today!
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