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Royal Mail reports ‘concerning increase’ in dog attacks on postal workers

Royal Mail has launched its annual Dog Awareness Week (1-7 July), reporting a “concerning increase” in dog attacks.

There were 2,206 dog attacks in the 12 months to March 2024, a 15% increase on a year earlier, Royal Mail reports.

The number of attacks causing serious and significant injury to postal workers was recorded as 82 over the year, compared with 33 in the 12 months earlier.

Portsmouth, Belfast, Bristol, Brighton and Plymouth were among the highest-risk locations.

Most dog attacks took place at the front door, followed by the garden, drive or yard, and some of the attacks were reported to have taken place in the street or road.

One in five incidents happened through letterboxes even though dog owners can be prosecuted if their pets have free access to the letterbox and cause injury to any delivery worker.

Dog attacks resulted in more than 2,273 days of absence in 2023/24, with the longest period of absence being 197 days.

Dave Joyce, Health and Safety Officer at the Communication Workers’ Union, said: “The key objective of Dog Awareness Week is primarily to remind the public to be aware of their legal and moral responsibilities to control their dogs and prevent dog attacks on postal workers who are providing them with a great public service.

“The public need to be aware that if their dog attacks a postal worker, they can be prosecuted.”

Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week asks customers to take more care and responsibility over dog ownership.

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