Dog attacks on postal workers in Norfolk on the rise

Postal worker. Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Postal worker. Rui Vieira/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Royal Mail are appealing for dog owners living in the region to do more in helping to prevent dog attacks on postmen and women as new figures reveal that attacks are on the rise.

Thirty-one postal workers were attacked at NR postcode addresses by dogs between April 2015 to April 2016, up 7pc on the previous year.

Attacks on postmen and women in PE postcodes, which covers areas of north and west Norfolk, were up by 5pc with a total of 65 incidents reported in the same period, the second highest figure in the country.

Nationally around seven attacks a day are being reported, with a total of 2,660 recorded last year, a fall of 10%, but incidents usually increase during the summer holidays, when dogs are more likely to be in the garden.

It comes as the Royal Mail launched its annual Dog Awareness Week which aims to raise awareness of the issue of dog attacks and encourage responsible dog ownership.

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TV presenter and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Ambassador, Paul O'Grady is backing the campaign again and said: 'Dogs can be quite protective of their owners and homes.

'They believe they are merely defending their property, but it's important to recognise that this behaviour can sometimes escalate to dog bite incidents with anyone coming to your home, including postmen.

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'No one should feel unsafe in the workplace and it's important we as dog owners, take the necessary steps to give postmen this same respect.

'Just spending time getting your pets familiar with guests coming to the house will help create a safer environment for all.'

Across the country last year, 36pc of dog attacks on postal workers have happened at the front door while 35pc took place in the front garden - the equivalent to 1,888 attacks.

Dave Joyce, of the Communication Workers Union, said: 'Over 2,600 dog attacks on postal workers a year is unacceptable.

'Most dog attacks on postmen and women occur at the doorstep of the dog's owner home. The vast majority of our customers and their dogs aren't a problem but irresponsible and reckless dog owners are.

'The new dog control laws now identify and penalise chronically irresponsible dog owners. One owner was recently fined £8,800 after his dog injured a postwoman as she put letters through the door.

'The penalties can include losing their dogs and jail. Dog owners need to fully understand that their actions usually are the cause of a dog being dangerous and simple precautions can prevent the pain for everyone concerned.'

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