THE owner of a post office said incidents of shoplifting have started to increase since the easing of lockdown restrictions.

It comes after a man stole a number of items including ready meals and drinks from the Boscombe East Post Office & Phillips News, which the shop said have been helping supply the local community.

Adam Phillips, owner of the post office, said: “I was not here but noticed a massive gap in the shelves the following morning.

“We had only just had a delivery that morning.

“He came in and literally cleared the shelf, then wondered around the shop and wondered out.

“It would be nice if he came in and said sorry.

“At the end of the day, if they are hungry, I have plenty of out of date stuff I can give them.

“I expect he’s taken the stuff to sell on.”

Mr Phillips said over lockdown there were no thefts because everyone was kept inside.

However, over the last six weeks it has started to increase, he said.

“It’s a problem for other retailers,” he continued.

“For example, I spoke to my friend in Somerset who say my post on Facebook and he has had problems with shoplifting.”

The post office has now adopted a one in one out policy to help fight the shoplifting and comply with coronavirus guidelines.

Mr Phillips added: “We have a one in one out police so there’s no more than two people in, one for each member of staff.

“The traffic lights on the door have worked quite well, we have had no arguments about masks.

“We keep people waiting outside and most people are happy with it.

“You don’t want to do it but we have got to do something to stop people walking out the door stealing.

“I am sure we would have lost customers who don’t want to wait, but we would have lost more if we let it carry on how it is.

“You can’t fault the police though, they are doing their best with limited numbers.

“I wouldn’t blame the police, but it is annoying the lack of people on the ground, not just here but nationally.

“They are doing an amazing job considering the problem with numbers.”