Gloves to guard postmen against threat of needles in postboxes
Posties are to be given drug-proof gloves after pricking themselves on needles left in postboxes in Yeovil.
The Royal Mail revealed the new safety gear after a postbox on Lower Middle Street was closed for months after postmen discovered needles in it.
Adrian Booth, a spokesman for Royal Mail, confirmed the box will re-open but staff will be forced to use special “reinforced” gloves when handling the mail.
He said: “The Middle Street box was taken out of service because local drug users were posting used needles into it.
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“This was dangerous for Royal Mail staff who empty the box.
“However, we have now decided to reinstate the box and have ordered specially-reinforced gloves to enable the box to be emptied more safely.
“The gloves may take some time to arrive, but as soon as they do we will open the box again. This should be early in the New Year.”
The closure of the postbox has created inconvenience for residents.
Robin MacKay, of Wyndham Court, said it is a vital resource in the town.
He said: “It’s still shut off which is proving quite difficult for a lot of people in that area. There is quite a demand for it at the bottom of the town.
“There needs to be a box there. There are a lot of flats nearby and a Premier Inn hotel on the way. It really does meet a need in the area.”
The discovery of needles was widely condemned at the time by local residents, police and mayor of Yeovil Clive Davis.
In October, Royal Mail confirmed it was not an isolated incident and needles has been found on more than one occasion.
Mr MacKay added: “There was talk of moving the box around in front of Crofton Stores.
“There’s a little lay-by which would prove quite easy for the post van to pick the mail up and be an equally central location with perhaps more people watching who was up to mischief.”