USPS, USPSIS unveil new crime prevention measures

Joint ‘Project Safe Delivery’ initiative focuses on reducing letter carrier robberies, mail theft; preventing fraud; defeating counterfeit postage

The United States Postal Service (USPS) and United States Postal Inspection Service (USPSIS) have announced expanded actions to protect postal employees and the security of the nation’s mail and packages as threats and attacks on letter carriers and mail fraud incidents have escalated concurrently with a national rise in crime.

The services held a joint briefing for U.S. Congress members and staff on these efforts last month. Last year, the USPS intercepted about 340,000 parcels with counterfeit postage plus nearly eight million counterfeits totalling about $7.8 million US (about $10.42 million Cdn.). In the United States, mail carriers deliver more than 162 million pieces of mail a day.

“As crime rises, so do the threats against our public servants,” said U.S. Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy. “The men and women of the Postal Service are walking our nation’s streets every day to fulfil our mission of delivering mail and packages to the American people. Every Postal employee deserves to work in safety and to be free from targeting by criminals seeking to access the public’s mail.”

USPSIS Chief Gary Barksdale noted the inspection service is “doubling down on our efforts to protect our postal employees and the security of the mail.”

“We are hardening targets – both physical and digital – to make them less desirable to thieves and working with our law enforcement partners to bring perpetrators to justice.”

Incidents of letter carrier robberies are on the rise across the nation. In the fiscal year 2022, 412 USPS letter carriers were robbed on the job. With 305 incidents reported in the first half of the fiscal year 2023, these incidents are increasingly more prevalent. Additionally, the agency reported an increase in high-volume mail theft incidents from mail receptacles, including blue collection boxes—38,500 in 2022 and more than 25,000 in the first half of 2023. The USPS plans to continue working with its unions and management associations on training and employee education for letter carriers and other postal workers.

Recognizing these ongoing safety threats, the services are also expanding their Project Safe Delivery crime prevention initiative to protect employees and facilities, prevent mail and package theft and enforce the law against individuals who perpetrate crimes against employees or engage in mail and package theft. For full details about the Project Safe Delivery actions, click here.

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