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Royal Mail launches fresh campaign to halt dog attacks

Most dog attacks on postal workers last year happened at the front door, in the garden or in the street.

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Royal Mail in appeal to halt dog attacks on postal workers (Royal Mail/PA)

Royal Mail in appeal to halt dog attacks on postal workers (Royal Mail/PA)

Royal Mail in appeal to halt dog attacks on postal workers (Royal Mail/PA)

A postal worker has spoken of a “frightening” dog attack he suffered as the Royal Mail launched a fresh appeal to reduce the number of incidents.

There were almost 2,500 dog attacks on postmen and women last year, a slight fall on the previous 12 months, but still causing permanent and disabling injuries to some victims.

In several areas of the country the number of attacks has increased, including parts of Guildford in Surrey – from 26 to 47 – and Chelmsford in Essex, up from 15 to 33 in a year.

Special training in some areas has led to a reduction in dog attacks, including Basildon and Southend.

The dog just kept attacking and wouldn’t stopPostal worker

Royal Mail launched its annual Dog Awareness Week with an appeal to dog owners to ensure they understand the often devastating impact of attacks on postmen and women.

In the last year, most dog attacks on postal workers happened at the front door, in the garden or in the street.

Mark Wilding, a postman for 15 years, from Llandrindod Wells in Wales, was on his round when he was attacked by a dog in the garden of a customer’s property.

He said: “I was delivering to a property in a cul-de-sac. As I walked up the path, I heard some shouting. I looked up, and saw a dog appear from behind a car and run towards me. I could see it wasn’t a friendly approach.

“I used my mail pouch to try and fend the dog off while the owner raced to control it. While trying to protect myself, the dog jumped up and bit me on my hand. It then started biting my hi-viz jacket and my trousers.

“Eventually the owner managed to drag the dog off me and get it into his house. My hand wouldn’t stop bleeding, so I had to go to hospital.

“Although the wound wasn’t very deep, it was very frightening at the time, because the dog just kept attacking and wouldn’t stop.

“I would like to ask all dog-owning customers to be aware of potential situations that might cause your dog to attack. It could easily have been a small child and the outcome could have been so much worse.”

Dr Shaun Davis of the Royal Mail said: “The safety of our people is of paramount importance and never more so than now as we continue to support the communities we live and work in.

“The coronavirus pandemic has placed an increasing reliance on our people to bring much-needed supplies to and from our customers’ homes and businesses.

“I am pleased to see a slight decrease this year, however it is still an alarmingly high number.”

Dave Joyce of the Communication Workers Union said: “We are appealing to all customers who are dog owners to work with us and think twice when the postman calls. Put the dog away in a secure room before opening the door to collect deliveries.”

There were 1,622 days of absence in the past year due to attacks on Royal Mail staff.

PA