Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Posties suffered more than 1,600 dog attacks last year, says Royal Mail

Postal workers were the victims of more than 1,600 dog attacks last year (PA)
Postal workers were the victims of more than 1,600 dog attacks last year (PA)

Some postal workers have been left with permanent and disabling injuries from dog attacks, with than 1,600 incidents reported in the last year.

A total of 1,673 attacks were recorded, an average of 32 every week across the UK, according to Royal Mail.

Sheffield had the most incidents reported during the year to March 31 2022, with 51 posties suffering dog attacks, closely followed by Belfast, with 50, and Tunbridge Wells with 44.

The BN (Brighton), NG (Nottingham), and SA (Swansea) postcode areas each saw 37 dog attacks on Royal Mail’s delivery staff, while the NE (Newcastle) and OX (Oxford) postcode areas saw 35 each.

Julie Mundy was off work for three months after being attacked by a dog (PA)

A total of 34 were recorded in the PO (Portsmouth) postcode area, while the EX (Exeter) postcode had 32 reports.

As in previous years, the majority of dog attacks, 654 (39%), took place at the front door.

A further 498 (30%) dog attacks took place in the garden, driveway or yard, while 134 (8%) took place in the street or road.

There were also 387 injuries suffered through letterboxes – accounting for 23% of attacks on postal workers.

Some attacks can have a devastating impact.

Tim Murray was the victim of a dog attack in 2020 and became wary of his own dog, Mylo

Julie Mundy, based in Nantwich, Cheshire spent five days in hospital, was off work for three months, and suffered from post-traumatic stress after her ordeal in 2019.

The postwoman, of 19 years, said a customer tried to hold the dog back but it got away and dove at her, causing her to stumble backwards and fall on the ground, breaking her hip.

She said: “By then the dog was on top of me but I couldn’t move – but I didn’t realise at that point I had broken my hip. The customer came and dragged the dog off me and another neighbour from across the road came over to help.

“My arm was bleeding where the dog had bitten me because I had been trying to cover my face. The neighbour from across the road cleaned me up and bandaged my arm and called an ambulance. I had to remain on the floor in the garden as I couldn’t walk.”

She added: “Following the attack, I have suffered from post-traumatic stress. As soon as I hear a barking dog, I freeze. It never used to bother me that much but I’m not as confident as I used to be.”

Tim Murray, a Parcelforce Worldwide delivery driver from Plymouth, was left afraid of his own dog after being bitten on the hand when a customer’s pet escaped through a fence in 2020.

He said: “The owner called his name. But it was too late. The dog had already bitten my hand. I was in a world of pain and shock, attempting to defend myself with my steel-capped boots, trying to keep the dog at bay. But the damage was done.

“I was the owner of a playful puppy at the time. I began avoiding him in fear of him jumping up or nibbling me. He would try and cuddle into me, bring me his toys and not leave my side. It’s taken me over a year to enjoy the sight of another dog.

“I had an operation on the tendon in my hand and was in hospital for several days. I was told to avoid work for a week and only undertake light duties for six weeks.”

Letterbox attacks were the subject of a 2020 High Court ruling that stated dog owners can be prosecuted if their pets have free access to the letterbox and cause injury, whether the owner is at home or not.

The total number of attacks dropped 1% from 2020/2021, making it the second year running Royal Mail has reported a reduction in dog attacks on its staff.

The year 2020/2021 saw a 31% decline which is thought to have been a result of contact-free deliveries during the pandemic.

However, postal workers reverted back to pre-pandemic delivery methods after the data had been collected for 2021/2022.

Dave Joyce, National Health & Safety Officer, Communication Workers’ Union, said: “Dog attacks remain a major safety hazard and concern for postmen and women across the UK and the scale of the problem shouldn’t be underestimated.

“I have written to the Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Secretary of State George Eustice calling for a meeting to discuss what more the Government and police can do to toughen up the dog control laws – such is my concern.”

The figures are published as Royal Mail launches Dog Awareness week, to help promote dog safety.

A special Dog Awareness Week postmark will be applied to all stamped items from Monday July 4 to Friday July 8 2021.