AN "online witch hunt" against staff is being blamed for the temporary closure of Bishop's Waltham Post Office.

The post office on the town's High Street was closed on Saturday and again today.

A notice on the door said staff had been placed under "immense stress" by abusive customers and would in future operate a zero-tolerance policy.

The notice said: "Please note the post office and shop will be closed on Saturday 26th June and possibly the following week.

"This is due to the immense stress that has been placed upon staff by a minority of customers who have taken it upon themselves to verbally abuse our staff. In addition, there appears to be an online 'witch hunt' taking place on social media platforms against both our postmaster and staff members. This has been totally unacceptable and has been the reason for the temporary closure.

"We are currently reviewing our position with this matter and should like to remind our customers that we will be operating a zero tolerance' approach to such behaviour in future. We operate a CCTV system with audio recording for our staff safety. when we reopen we will pass any/all recordings of the above behaviour to the authorities.

"To our pleasant and loyal customers however, we would like to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this had caused and look forward to seeing you in the near future."

One customer, who tried to use the post office this afternoon, joined a group of people outside including a postman who said he had not been informed of the closure.

The customer, who asked not to be named, said: "I went to pick up a parcel I’d specially ordered, to find the shop closed! Several other very disgruntled people were milling around and someone pointed out a notice on the door.

"I was truly disappointed and cross actually, surely this situation could have been better resolved? Such a vital community service disrupted allegedly because of a few idiots."

A Post Office spokesperson said this afternoon: “Bishops Waltham Post Office was closed due to personal reasons. We are sorry that the Postmaster has felt the need for a short-term closure of the branch. We are liaising with the branch and service resumed today (Tuesday). We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the unexpected closure.”