Royal Mail’s plea to stop dogs attacking postmen after 62 per cent rise in assaults in Halifax

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Dog owners in Halifax are being urged to stop their pets attacking postmen.

According to Royal Mail and the Communications Workers Union, eight delivery men and women were attacked by dogs in this area between April 2011 and 2012 - a rise of 62 per cent on the previous year.

They say the number of assaults usually peaks during school holidays.

Royal Mail has already spent more than £100,000 on awareness campaigns and equipment to help postmen and women reduce risk of injury

They have issued 90,000 ‘posting pegs’, used to put letters through the letterbox and protect the fingers of their staff.

Steve Greaves, director of safety for Royal Mail in the North of England, said: “Clearly 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.

“The number of attacks is unacceptably high and in the HX postcode area. This has risen by 62 per cent.

“Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers and we regularly provide advice to our people to help minimise the risk of an attack and have spent over £100,000 on awareness campaigns and equipment to help reduce the risk of injury.

“However, even just being threatened by an unrestrained pet is a frightening situation for our delivery staff and we would appeal to owners to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature.”

Dave Joyce, CWU National’s health and safety office, said: “The age old image of the dog attacking the postman is not a laughing matter.

“Thousands of our members are bitten every year and hundreds suffer debilitating injuries every year which leave them with physical and psychological scarring, some with life changing disabilities and all in the course of doing their job.

“There are so many things that dog owners can do to reduce the likelihood of an attack taking place so we strongly urge all dog owners to look at these top tips.

“Prevention is always better than the cure when it comes to dog attacks so we hope that all dog owners will take a moment to check where their pet is, especially over the summer holidays when attacks increase.”