Warning after dog attacks on postmen

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 3, 2017

James Reynolds, a postman in north London, was attacked by a dog while on his rounds a year ago, and is still awaiting compensation after bites to his thigh and arm.

There were 67 attacks on postmen in Northern Ireland from April 2016 to April 2017.

The nation's posties are biting back over the "unacceptable" number of unfriendly dogs attacking them on their daily rounds.

Workers' union CWU says overall attacks fell a year ago, though, with around 2,500 attacks reported - although it suspects some minor alterations aren't being reported.

"I didn't really think much about the attack at the time, but a couple of weeks later I just took a panic attack over it, that's when the trauma really kicked in and I needed counselling after that". It shouldn't be part and parcel of the job, getting attacked.

An amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 introduced in May 2014 expanded the legislation to cover private property as well as public spaces, giving postal workers in England and Wales more protection if they are attacked in a garden and on a doorstep while making a delivery.

"As owners it's our responsibility to train our pets to behave appropriately around strangers".

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "This reduction in attacks is encouraging but it is still too high".

According to Royal Mail, the majority of attacks happen at the front door or in the front garden, and the number increases during summer holidays, when children and parents are at home and dogs are more likely to be out in the garden.

"Our postmen and women need to be able to deliver the service they provide to communities across the United Kingdom, without the risk of injury", her said.

The company made the announcement at the start of its fifth annual Dog Awareness Week, during which it works with Dogs Trust and the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to try to encourage responsible dog ownership.

"We need to keep raising awareness of this serious issue".

"This is why this campaign is so important".

"While the number of dog attacks on postmen and women has fallen in the previous year, the numbers are still far too high".

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