Officers will be allowed to intercept any suspicious mail anywhere in the country and open it before it is delivered, under plans being drawn up by the Government to amend the Postal Services Act.Can't they do that already? Well, yes. But with certain restrictions:
The measure is billed as a bid to crack down on tobacco smuggling. However, a HM Revenue and Customs spokesman said the powers could be applied much more widely.Oh, I’ll just bet they did…
Currently, Royal Mail staff have a legal right to intercept suspicious letters and parcels in mail centres and sorting offices and pass them to HM Revenue and Customs.But only for that wicked tobacco smuggling, we promise!
Tax inspectors must then notify the addressee and agree a mutually acceptable time to open the letter or parcel, before deciding whether to take any enforcement action.
However the Government is now proposing to remove the legal requirement which will now allow inspectors to open suspicious post without asking permission first.
I'm with AE here; these people have form:
"I'm confident that they won't abuse the privilege for, oooooh, it'd have to be minutes at the very least."That's more generous than I'd have been!