A POSTBOX was so packed with mail that letters jammed into it risked being stolen, a Worcester pensioner has claimed.

Iris O'Brien was convinced the box on Shrubbery Road had not been emptied for a week when she spotted mail spilling out of the top.

The "next collection" label had been stuck at 12pm for five days, she claimed.

A notice posted on the box states collections are due to take place at 8am, 2pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

"I was shocked when I saw post through the hole which could easily have been stolen," she said.

"I've posted cheques and important letters which haven't arrived at their destination."

The 86-year-old, of Flag Meadow Walk, Barbourne, said she was sent on a wild goose chase when she tried to phone and report it to Royal Mail.

"I was passed from one place to another and couldn't get anyone to help," she said.

Royal Mail spokesman, Andrew Parsonage, denied collections had been missed and blamed businesses for clogging the box up with mail posted in the morning.

"It is emptied three times a day starting at 12 noon," he said. "We think the problem might be stacks of mail posted by local businesses which means the box can be full by lunchtime."

Mr Parsonage said the situation would be investigated and apologised for any inconvenience experienced by Mrs O'Brien.

"We take instances like this very seriously and will try to find a solution," he said.

A receptionist at Shrubbery Avenue Medical Centre, who would not disclose her name, admitted piling post into the box each day.

"We take a pile of post - around 30 letters - to the post box every day," the woman said.

"But it's before the 6.30pm collection. I've seen it quite full on occasions."