TNT Post has denied its practice of rewarding postmen for speedy deliveries is a problem, despite more mail having being found dumped by one of its employees.

In mid-April – just a few days after a BBC London News report highlighted piles of mail found abandoned in a bush elsewhere in north London – a large sack of TNT Post mail was found in the Silk Stream river in Colindale.

The incident was subsequently reported last week in both The Times and the London Evening Standard.

The sack was reported to contain sensitive bank and local council benefits documents.

A spokesman for TNT Post told this week it was initially advised of the problem on 16 April and recovered the post the next day. The firm is still in the process of reviewing it and cannot comment on the content, he said.

“We have identified the person responsible for this disgraceful action and have carried out an investigation which has resulted in the person being dismissed,” he continued.

TNT Post has also alerted the police, he added, stressing that interfering with post or intentionally delaying it is a crime under the Postal Services Act 2000.

The latest incident has also come to the attention of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

“We have recently been made aware of a possible data breach which involves the discovery of an unsecured mailbag,” an ICO spokesman confirmed to “We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken.”

The ICO can issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, he said.

The spokesman for TNT Post said the firm had not yet had been contacted by the ICO over the matter, however.

He also denied its practice of rewarding quick deliveries was an issue.

Admitting that posties who complete their rounds early “gain a bonus which means they can finish work earlier or undertake additional rounds”, he stressed post still had to be delivered to agreed service levels.

These include delivering every item to the exact address shown on the envelope or returning them for further processing, and conducting themselves in accordance with the Mail Integrity Code of Practice.