A community in St Ives has been left without a post box for nearly nine months after the original became a crime target.

The box, at Constable Road, has been sealed by Royal Mail which blamed "repeated" break-ins for the situation and is in the process of trying to find a new site.

A shopkeeper has stepped in by providing a cardboard box as a temporary alternative.

Anthony Barraclough, who lives nearby, accused Royal Mail of failing to give its customers service after complaining about the box to Royal Mail's highest level without seeing any action.

Mr Barraclough said a thief had been jailed after breaking into the post box and taking the contents at the beginning of May last year.

"Since that date Burleigh Hill has been without a post box," he said.

"The box was repaired, then a metal piece was inserted to stop items being posted and now it is wrapped around with tape."

Mr Barraclough said: "Royal Mail locally told me that they were looking to relocate the box which has never happened.

"I have since complained to the 'Escalated Customer resolution Team' of Royal Mail and finally to the 'Postal Review Panel' which is the final point of escalation within Royal Mail for consumer complaints.

"All of this has failed to produce any resolution, with the Burleigh Hill community still being without a post box after nearly nine months."

Mr Barraclough said: "The local newsagent has kindly provided a box on the shop counter as a temporary measure. Sadly this is less secure than the post box was.

"There are many older and disabled people who are unable to get to another post box which are all situated a good distance from Constable Road."

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "Due to repeated break-ins at this postbox, we are moving the postbox to a new location. The new location must meet several requirements in terms of security both for the mail itself and for our postmen and women when they stop to collect from the postbox.

"We are currently in the process of identifying a position which meets these requirements. The postbox will then be reinstalled."