Old USPS Blue Mail Boxes

USPS Fights To Safeguard Workers and Reduce Mail Theft

The United States Postal Service (USPS) and the United States Postal Inspection Service (Postal Inspection Service) jointly declared an enhancement of measures to safeguard Postal employees and uphold the security of the nation’s mail and packages.

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This decision comes in response to the growing surge of threats and attacks targeting letter carriers and incidents of mail fraud, which have been occurring alongside a nationwide increase in crime.

In the fiscal year 2022, a total of 412 USPS letter carriers fell victim to robberies while performing their duties. This alarming trend has continued into the first half of fiscal year 2023, with 305 reported incidents indicating an escalating prevalence of such crimes.

Furthermore, the agency has observed a rise in incidents of high-volume mail theft from mail receptacles, including blue collection boxes. In fiscal year 2022 alone, more than 38,500 incidents were reported, and the number has surpassed 25,000 in the first half of fiscal year 2023.

To address these growing safety concerns, the Postal Service is committed to collaborating with its unions and management associations to provide comprehensive training and education programs for letter carriers and other postal workers. By equipping employees with the necessary skills and knowledge, the aim is to enhance their preparedness and mitigate risks.

“As crime rises, so do the threats against our public servants,” said 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 fulfill 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.”

USPS Replacing 49,000 Antiquated Arrow Locks

USPS is also undertaking a significant security upgrade by replacing 49,000 antiquated arrow locks with electronic locks. This proactive measure comes in response to a rise in letter carrier robberies nationwide, where criminals specifically target letter carriers for their Arrow and Modified Arrow Lock (MAL) Keys.

These keys are utilized by criminals to gain access to secure mail receptacles and carry out financial crimes, such as check fraud through check alteration.

In addition, to further protect Postal employees and facilities, prevent mail and package theft, and take legal action against individuals involved in crimes against Postal employees or engaged in mail and package theft, the Postal Service and the Postal Inspection Service are expanding their efforts through the Project Safe Delivery crime prevention initiative.

The expansion of Project Safe Delivery encompasses a range of actions, including plans to install 12,000 high-security blue collection boxes across the nation.

This initiative aims to reinforce the security of these boxes, making it more challenging for criminals to access their contents. The deployment of these enhanced boxes will initially focus on high-security risk areas and will continue throughout the next fiscal year.

Furthermore, to mitigate the value of Arrow Keys for criminals, the USPS has decided to install electronic locks, rendering the old Arrow locks obsolete. The replacement process has already commenced in select cities, and further installations are scheduled for major metropolitan areas in the near future.

And the pursuit of counterfeit stamps remains a top priority for the USPS. In the fiscal year 2022, the Postal Service achieved notable success by seizing over 340,000 packages that contained counterfeit postage, along with a staggering 7.7 million counterfeit stamps.

“We’re 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,” said Postal Inspection Service Chief Gary Barksdale.

Here are more details on the additional enhancements USPS is implementing to secure the nation’s mail service.

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