ATTACKS by dogs on postmen and women in the ST postcode area have more than doubled in the past year.
Some 45 postal staff were attacked while out on their rounds in the year up to the end of April. This is an increase of 137 per cent in the ST postcode area - and a massive rise compared with an 8 per cent increase in attacks across the country as a whole.
Royal Mail has launched a Dog Awareness Week to highlight the risks posed by out of control pets in the ST postcode area, working in partnership with the Communication Workers Union, with support from a wide range of animal charities.
Dog Awareness Week, from June 30 to July 4, aims to raise understanding of dog attacks, the need for responsible dog ownership as well as appealing to dog owners to keep animals under control when the postman calls to over 29 million addresses across the UK.
These attacks rise during the school holidays and in the summer months when parents and children are at home and dogs are sometimes allowed unsupervised in the garden, or out onto the street without restraints.
Delivery director Tony Baxter said: “There is growing awareness of the issue of dog attacks and the problems our postmen and women face when they are delivering the mail. “However, last year there were still too many incidents in the ST postcode area and we need to reduce this number further as even one dog attack on our people is one too many.
“We know that most dogs are not inherently dangerous, however, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened.
“Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers. We appeal to dog owners in the ST postcode area to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature. It can also be simple things that help - for example just making sure the dog is kept inside when the postman calls.”
Top Tips for Dog Owners:
• Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman or woman arrives. Place your pet in the back garden or a distant room.
• If you have a back garden, please close off the access, in case your dog could get round to the front when the postman calls.
• Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to sign for an item. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door and make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack.
• Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered
• Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived to let your pet back into your hallway. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.
• If your dog likes to attack your mail consider installing a wire letter receptacle. It will protect your post, and your postman’s fingers
• If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman delivering your mail, please consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.