Baulkham Hills' round-the-clock parcel lockers a safe bet: police

Full-time mail access: Australia Post Stanhope Gardens' staff Janette Carlyon and Frank De Masi with the parcel lockers. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Full-time mail access: Australia Post Stanhope Gardens' staff Janette Carlyon and Frank De Masi with the parcel lockers. Picture: Gene Ramirez

Four Australia Post Offices and six 7-Eleven stores in western Sydney now offer around-the-clock access to parcel lockers. But will your mail be safe from theft? ISABELL PETRINIC reports.

The Hills crime manager, Detective Inspector Gary Bailey said he fully supported the idea of parcel lockers.

"Perhaps Australia Post could consider extending this to documents containing sensitive identity information — credit cards and pin number advices — which at the moment are targeted by our criminals," Detective Inspector Bailey said.

He said as recently as June 17, Castle Hill police caught a 26-year-old man rifling through letterboxes and cars in the north Oatlands area, allegedly looking for identity documents.

"He was found to have over 20 items from different mail boxes and was charged with 30 offences.

"Certainly mail theft is on the increase and we encourage people to regularly remove their mail [particularly] at strata addresses."

He said PO boxes and parcel lockers were generally secure.

Lockers are available at post offices in Baulkham Hills and Stanhope Gardens.

Australia Post has installed 100 nationally with plans to install 250 by the end of 2014.

"The locations we choose to place our parcel lockers must be well lit, accessible and secure," a spokeswoman said.

She said the lockers form part of Australia Post's $2 billion investment in transforming its network to better fit with the way people want to receive parcels and access services, with figures showing 70 per cent of all parcels delivered by Australia Post now come directly from online purchases.

In the Baulkham Hills area, more than 1656 parcels are delivered daily by Australia Post.

Another spokeswoman said postal delivery frequency would not be reduced following Australia Post's recent sacking of 900 headquarters and administration staff.

LOCKER LOCATIONS:

■ Baulkham Hills Post Office;

■ Hassall Grove 7-Eleven;

■ Jamisontown 7-Eleven;

■ Minchinbury 7-Eleven;

■ North Parramatta 7-Eleven;

■ Penrith Post Office;

■ Seven Hills Post Office

■ Stanhope Gardens Post Office;

■ Toongabbie 7-Eleven;

■ Quakers Hill 7-Eleven.

ABOUT STANHOPE GARDENS' LOCKERS:

‘‘We've found the bulk of people who live around Kellyville, The Ponds, Kellyville Ridge, work nine-to-five and have to rush to the post office or go on a Saturday to collect their post,’’ said Frank Demasi, the licensee of Stanhope Gardens Post Office.

‘‘The beauty of our new parcel lockers is they get an SMS to tell them a parcel has arrived for pick-up and they have 48 hours to collect it.’’

His lockers arrived about six weeks ago.

‘‘It costs people nothing to register for this service, or to use the 24-hour lockers,’’ Mr Demasi said.

Residents and businesses just need to create a free Australia Post account and then register for the lockers at auspost.com.au/parcel-lockers, selecting the Stanhope Gardens Post Office lockers, for example, as the delivery destination.

They can then use this as their postal address when they shop online.

When the parcel arrives, the customer will receive an email with a unique PIN code to securely access the locker.

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