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Royal Mail employee confirms why posties write 'P' on letters

Tom Wood

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Royal Mail employee confirms why posties write 'P' on letters

Featured Image Credit: designer_by_day/ipm/Alamy Stock Photo

Ever received a letter that seemed suspicious and had something strange that you didn’t understand on it?

Have you noticed that sometimes your letters have a mysterious character written on them?

Well, stick around and you’ll find out why that is – at least – according to the postal workers of the internet, anyway.

This whole question arose because a number of Reddit dog owners were starting to get a bit antsy because they had a suspicion that their dogs were going to be stolen.

Of course, that’s a worrying thought for any pet owner, particularly as a few of them had noticed that their mail was arriving sometimes with a ‘P’ written on it.

They had the idea that this could have been some sort of code written onto the mail by nefarious characters who had marked out their property as having a dog worth nicking.

No, the postal workers aren't after your dogs. Credit: PearlBucknall/Alamy Stock Photo
No, the postal workers aren't after your dogs. Credit: PearlBucknall/Alamy Stock Photo

One person wrote: "It's what thieves use to mark your house to let others know you have expensive dogs."

Now, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t be vigilant to dog theft – more on that later – but it turned out that the truth is quite different.

Luckily, with Reddit being a big and varied community, there were some postal workers on there who explained the true and fairly mundane meaning behind why there might be a letter ‘P’ written on your post.

It’s simply to remind them that they need to knock on your door to deliver a parcel to you.




Furthermore, you might see another bit tagged onto the end of the scrawl, but that’s likely to do with the fact that a house either side of you has a parcel but no actual post to deliver.

One online postie said: "You had a packet/parcel. Stops us from forgetting about it!"

Another said: "It's the posties' way of reminding themselves that when they come to post your letter there's also a parcel for you.

"That's so they don't post your letter then find out halfway down the street they forgot to knock and give you your parcel.

"Or sometimes they'll write P10 or something on the previous letter - that lets them know they have a parcel for next door (number 10) but no letter."

See, it’s as simple as that.

Posties just need reminding when there's a parcel. Credit: Joseph Clemson/Alamy Stock Photo
Posties just need reminding when there's a parcel. Credit: Joseph Clemson/Alamy Stock Photo

Now, we did promise you some advice on how to keep your dog safe, didn’t we?

The RSPCA has specific advice for exactly this situation.

They wrote: "It's heartbreaking when a loved family pet is stolen.

“If there have been reports of pets being stolen in your area, our advice would be don't panic, but it is wise to be extra careful."

Being extra careful – they helpfully add – means not leaving dogs outside shops or in the garden unattended, training your dog to respond and return to you, and getting them microchipped.

Furthermore, keep the contact details on their collar up to date, as well as hanging on to recent photographs of your pup.

Also getting them neutered, as pets that can’t be used for breeding may be less valuable to thieves, as well as tagging and collaring them also helps.

Lastly, just be sure you can trust whoever you choose to leave your pet with when you go away.

Oh, and don’t worry too much about the postal worker.

They’ve probably got enough problems with dogs on their hands without adding another one.

LADbible has contacted Royal Mail for a comment on the matter.

Topics: UK News, Weird, Dogs, Animals

Tom Wood
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