The Royal Mail and Channel Four have issued a joint statement to correct a claim made during the broadcaster’s Dispatches undercover investigation into the postal services which was broadcast in April.
The programme, Third Class Post, received widespread coverage, but the Royal Mail claimed that allegations that credit cards had been stolen by postal workers were inaccurate.
The Dispatches programme included secret filming of an agency worker supplying a stolen credit card for an undercover reporter which he boasted had been stolen from Royal Mail.
After the programme it came to light that the credit cards had not been handled by Royal Mail and were sent using courier services.
A Channel Four spokesperson said: “If Channel Four had had access to the correct information prior to transmission, it would have included it in the programme.”
The joint statement reported: “Channel 4 acknowledges that the vast majority of Royal Mail’s 200,000 people are honest and hardworking and Channel 4 is happy to make this clear and has never intended to suggest otherwise.
“At the time the programme was made, Royal Mail was using the services of a large number of casual agency workers.”
Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier said: “Channel Four claimed to be showing credit cards being stolen from Royal Mail’s postal operation.
Channel Four’s statement makes it clear that the cards featured were not stolen from Royal Mail and in fact had never been handled by Royal Mail.”
Royal Mail has also taken out adverts in the national press to make clear the point of inaccuracy in the programme.
n A complaint that the Breakfast with Frost programme had repeatedly used a sequence of pictures of Saddam Hussein undergoing a medical examination just after his capture by US troops has been upheld.
A viewer questioned the appropriateness of the footage to the BBC Complaints Unit.
The BBC said: “The pictures had been selected at the last minute when a security alert in Baghdad obliged the programme to conduct an interview with a speaker there by telephone, instead of by video link. The impression given by their repeated showing was unfortunate.”
By Caitlin Pike