A DPD Local driver has been suspended after CCTV footage captured him taking an iPhone which had been dropped by a child in Winnington.

Alfie, who has autism, was running across the road outside his home to visit a friend and had not realised that his phone had fallen from his pocket.

After retracing his steps and searching his home, no trace of the phone could be found, but after checking their CCTV cameras, his family was stunned to discover that it had been picked up by a DPD Local courier delivering to a neighbour.

Footage shows Alfie dropping the phone, a van appearing to wait until he had gone, the driver parking the vehicle over the phone and driving off seconds later with the phone vanishing.

After contacting the company, an investigation was launched and the phone was returned to Alfie without the sim card, but the situation has had a big impact on him, according to his parents.

“As Alfie is autistic, the incident has hit him really hard,” his mum, Sam, told the Guardian.

“He doesn’t want to leave the house and we’ve had to buy a video doorbell so he can see who’s at the door.

“He keeps asking what if the nasty man comes back as he knows where we live, so it has not been great for him at all.

“We were really upset that someone could do that instead of letting him know that he had dropped it, and more so because we knew how it would affect Alfie.”

A spokesman for DPD Local said: “We take issues like this incredibly seriously and have acted swiftly to rectify the situation for the family.

“We can confirm that the driver involved has been suspended, subject to our full investigation being concluded.”

After initially being pleased with the way DPD Local had handled the situation, Sam says she was ‘flabbergasted’ to be told that it is the company’s policy not to DBS check drivers until three months after starting.

Her and her husband have also received unpleasant messages from fake profiles on Facebook, which have been passed on to Cheshire Police.

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Sam added: “Anyone could be delivering to people’s house without any checks being done and they could have stolen from other people, which I think is disgusting.

“DPD Local says it takes issues like this seriously, but it is taking on staff without DBS checking them and is trusting them with delivering sometimes valuable parcels.

“You wouldn’t employ someone who is knocking on people’s doors and having face-to-face contact without knowing their background. I was flabbergasted.”

In response, DPD Local said that all its drivers are required to apply for a ‘basic disclosure’ within five days of starting, which summises a person’s police record.

The company added that any offences detailed on the report are then considered by DPD Local for consideration and approval for continued employment.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “A complaint has been received in relation to this matter.

“Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101, quoting IML 765838.”