Mail theft and fraud

Mail theft and fraud

Safe urban design

City of Sydney submission

Mail theft and fraud costs the Australian community $2.2 billion each year.

In a submission to Standards Australia, we have called for the existing standard for mailbox location and lock requirements to be extended to cover apartment buildings.

The existing standard only covers mailboxes for individual homes and developers often overlook providing details about the location and design of apartment building mailboxes in development applications. This makes it impossible for planners to make an accurate assessment.

A revised design standard would allow the City and other councils to amend planning controls and require new developments to have mailboxes installed inside secure areas, with an individual lock and key for each apartment mailbox.

The City's submission has the support of all members of the MailSafe initiative including NSW Police, Australia Post, Crime Stoppers Australia, UTS' Designing Out Crime, Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia and the Owners Corporation Network.

Download a fact sheet about mailbox theft.

Our recommendations 

We have recommended the following amendments to the standard:

  • All locks installed in new apartments at the manufacturing stage are to be:
    • non-master key locks
    • locks without the key number stamped on the face of the lock
    • keys that can be stamped with the key number to let the owner get more keys cut or copied
    • a minimum of 2.5mm thick for strength on the tail cam of cam locks.
  • Mailboxes should be built with flush fitting doors to minimise forced opening of the mailbox.
  • Mailbox locations for multistorey apartment blocks should be:
    • located inside a locked foyer area
    • located inside a gated or fenced compound of the building
    • positioned where mail can only be removed from inside the private space of the building.

Last updated: Monday, 19 December 2016