United Kingdom

The post office has urged legislative changes to make it easier to track staff in IT scandals, the letter said.

The post office has urged legislative changes to make it easier to track staff involved in IT scandals, the letter said.

  • The Law Commission sought feedback on rule changes regarding computer evidence in court
  • The head of the post office’s criminal law department wrote a letter to a legal inspector in 1995.
  • Individuals or businesses needed to prove that their computer systems were working properly
  • But the post office said it was “too strict and could prevent prosecution.”


The post office has urged significant legislative changes to make it easier to track postmasters who have been falsely accused of company IT scandals.

The company’s head of criminal law sent a letter to a British legal inspector in 1995 stating that the existing rules for the use of computer evidence in court were “somewhat annoying.”

This letter arrived when the Legal Committee was seeking feedback from the organization on a proposed change to the rules regarding the use of computer evidence in court.

At that time, companies and individuals who depended on such evidence needed to prove that their computer systems were working properly.

The company’s head of criminal law sent a letter to a British legal inspector in 1995 stating that the existing rules for the use of computer evidence in court were “somewhat annoying.” [File photo]

But the post office said it was “too strict and could prevent prosecution.” It urged the Law Commission to relax the rules. It will make it easier to prosecute an individual based on computer evidence.

He also listened to calls from the post office, which received a lot of feedback from BT and the Internal Revenue Service.

In 1999, when the company introduced the Horizon IT system, the law was changed to introduce a presumption that computer systems are functioning properly.

However, the Horizon, which appeared a few years later, did not work as it should. More than 700 postmasters have been falsely charged in what is known as one of Britain’s largest false accusations. They were accused of theft and false accounting, and some were sent to jail.

Grandmother Joe Hamilton, who was forced to repay her home with a remortgage after being accused of being stolen from the post office, said:

Grandmother Joe Hamilton, who was forced to repay her home with a remortgage after being accused of being stolen from the post office, said:

It took about 20 years for these victims to prove that their IT systems were due to the lack of money.

The post office letter to the Legal Committee was written before the introduction of Horizon, but I felt the company was preparing to introduce an IT system and wanted to hide it in case of problems. I ranked the postmasters who are.

Grandmother Joe Hamilton, who was forced to repay her home with a remortgage after being accused of being stolen from the post office, said: I’m not surprised at this – I’m very angry with them. “

Andy Furey, a national officer of the Postmaster of the Communication Trade Union, said that before Horizon, the post office had no automation, so the timing of the letters “feels very planned and calculated.” Said.

The post office said the submission to the Commission was made when the company was owned by Royal Mail. He added that the Horizon system was not introduced until 1999, four years after the letter to the Watchdog.

Sir Wyn Williams, a retired judge of the High Court, is leading an independent investigation into the post office scandal.

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The post office has urged legislative changes to make it easier to track staff in IT scandals, the letter said.

SourceThe post office has urged legislative changes to make it easier to track staff in IT scandals, the letter said.

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