North East Wales

Robbed Wrexham postmaster may be liable for £9,000

A postmaster attacked during a robbery has been told he may be liable for nearly £9,000 of the £54,000 cash stolen.

David Taylor, postmaster at Cefn Mawr post office, Wrexham, suffered concussion in the robbery on 16 July.

The Post Office wrote to him highlighting security procedures regarding his safe.

It said discussions were ongoing and no final decisions had been made.

So far £14,000 of the money has been recovered by police.

In a letter to Mr Taylor, the Post Office said because concerns that correct security procedures "seem not to have been followed we currently consider you may be liable to £8,835".

Former soldier Mr Taylor said the Post Office are holding him partially liable as the door to the counter was left open while his wife Janine had the safe open.

He said: "I would have opened it anyway if someone had been pointing a gun at me.

"There's no logic."

Mr Taylor, who gave chase to the robbers, despite suffering concussion, has kept the Post Office open following the robbery and villagers say he should be hailed a hero.

In an e-mail sent to BBC Wales, Terry Orton from Newbridge, near Cefn Mawr, says: "Mr Taylor deserves a medal for his bravery and not a fine.

"His contribution to the local population and to his country from past service plus his actions against the robbers makes Mr Taylor a hero, yet he is being villainised by the Post Office which he works for.

"And Janine's heroism, despite being mentally traumatised, yet still carrying on behind the counter serving the community, deserves praise.

"As a community we would like to highlight Mr and Mrs Taylor's story and also if possible raise the funds to pay off the Post Office."

A statement from Post Office Limited said they took every incident of robbery extremely seriously.

It said: "We act extremely sensitively throughout these distressing times and always offer support to our subpostmasters and their families.

"However, at an appropriate juncture, it is important to discuss the details of such incidents with the subpostmaster involved.

"In the case of Cefn Mawr, discussions between representatives of Post Office Limited and our agent are ongoing and no final conclusions or decisions have been made."

Security procedures

The letter that Mr Taylor has received from the Post Office highlights a number of security procedures and regulations.

One of these says: "your safe must provide secure storage and satisfactory robbery protection for all of the cash and value stock for which you have responsibility. It must be kept locked, with the keys removed, when not in immediate use."

Keith Richards, executive officer for Wales at the National Federation of Sub Post-masters, said the Post Office was merely following normal procedure.

He told BBC Radio Wales: "We totally agree any money going missing should not be the responsibility of subpostmasters, but there are guidelines to help them along the way and the Post Office do offer security to a high standard to stop circumstances like this happening and thankfully they are few and far between."

Image caption David Taylor says the shop was empty at the time and the safe in use

Mr Richards added: "At the moment the Post Office have made their own investigations and have come to this conclusion and the formal process then starts with us to discuss what they've discovered and to find out if there was a breach in security, why that breach took place.

"There could be genuine and valid reasons why the circumstances materialised and therefore no blame should be put on the subpostmaster."

Mr Richards added that if security was found to have been breached there were "implications" but usually a compromise could be found and no repayment would be made.

Mr Taylor argues that the shop was empty at the time and the safe was in use.

He points out that, if he hadn't resisted, the robbers may have escaped with more than the £54,000 they took - which was only half the contents of the safe at the time.

"Perhaps you should put your life in your hands and do everything you can to stop an armed raider if it's going to cost you an enormous amount of money and possibly your livelihood at the end of the day," he said.

He has a meeting with the Post Office next week, but is not optimistic he can avoid paying the money.

Two men have been charged with robbery following the incident.

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