Police have been handing in letters dumped in bushes and bins across Wimbledon as the Royal Mail throws money at the SW19 post crisis.

Sources within Wimbledon’s sorting office believe the estimated £500,000 cost of managers’ expenses and wages of extra agency staff delivering letters is 10 times the amount hoped to be saved by last month’s “Pegasus” restructuring.

Up to 100 Royal Mail managers, administration officers and even solicitors are joining more than 50 agency staff in Wimbledon every day as they try to clear a month-long backlog of mail.

Customers have been complaining mail is being tampered with or dumped, while experienced postmen claim the temporary workforce brought in is undertrained and incapable of doing the job.

A shortage of resources in the Cranbrook Road office following the restructuring has even forced managers to hire a fleet of 24 delivery vans at the cost of £12,000 a month.

But members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), who have been going on strike for one day a week since July, are furious at Royal Mail’s claim the chaos has been caused by industrial action and not restructuring introduced on August 24.

The postmen claim they were clearing any backlog caused by the strikes until 61 job cuts were earmarked, working hours reduced, and the length of delivery rounds increased.

A spokesman for Royal Mail said: “The Communication Workers Union has done its utmost through strike action in Wimbledon to delay the mail and Royal Mail again calls on the union to stop hurting customers and provide the service our customers need and expect.

“Royal Mail is doing everything it can, including drafting in management volunteers as well as fully trained and vetted agency staff and drivers, who we sometimes call on during busy periods anyway, to keep mail moving and call upon CWU to call off these damaging strikes which only inconvenience customers and harm our business.”

He added Royal Mail had a very “modest approach” to travel and accommodation expenses.

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