Published on July 20th, 2015 | by admin

Post Boxes Subject To Forensic Tags And Electronic Tracking

Post boxes are one of those quintessentially British icons which have dominated our streetscape ever since the first post boxes began appearing on the British mainland in 1853. There are around 115,000 of these iconic iron structures located throughout the UK and within half a mile of over 98% of the population including the classic pillars and others mounted on walls or posts.

Jonathan Glancey, writer and author of ‘Pillar Boxes’, interprets each of them as a ‘glorious piece of public design’ which goes some way to explain why new proposals have now been set out by the Royal Mail and government agency Historic England to preserve the ‘character and heritage’ of the country’s post boxes.

Conserving post boxes in their existing locations

Whilst only around 200 of the oldest and rarest post boxes are listed in recognition of their historic importance and unique features, Royal Mail and Historic England recognise the importance of each and every post box to British heritage which has led to these new proposals recently outlined in a joint policy document.

To address theft and damage to post boxes, new measures proposed include the use of forensic tags, permanent metal marking and electronic tracking which would allow the police to identify the origin of a post box if it is sold as metal or as a post box.

Post Box changes in recent times

These latest proposals from Royal Mail and Historic England follow on from when 110 post boxes were painted gold to celebrate London 2012 British Olympic and Paralympic champions. In addition, a number of plaques are currently being installed on selected post boxes to mark 50 years of special stamps.

We learn that the agreement to conserve post boxes in their existing locations will be adapted to reflect the individualities of post boxes around the UK. Equivalent policies are also expected to be implemented via heritage agencies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too.

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