• Friday, August 19, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Postal workers in the UK suffered more than 1,600 dog attacks in the last year: Royal Mail

A total of 1,673 dog attacks were recorded with an average of 32 every week across Britain.

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By: Kimberly Rodrigues

According to Royal Mail, postal workers have suffered more than 1,600 dog attacks in the last year leaving the posties with permanent and disabling injuries.

The British multinational postal service and courier company has reported that a total of 1,673 attacks were recorded with an average of 32 every week across Britain.

According to Royal Mail, 39 percent (654) of the dog attacks occurred at the customers’ front door. Another 30 percent (498) were attacked in the garden, driveway or yard and 8 percent (134) such incidents took place on the road or in the street.

Also, another 23 percent (387) of injuries suffered by postal workers were through letterboxes.

A report in the Independent stated that Sheffield had the most incidents reported during the year to March 31 2022, with a total of 51 postal workers suffering dog attacks. This was closely followed by Belfast, where 50 incidents were reported, and Tunbridge Wells with 44.

The report added that the BN (Brighton), NG (Nottingham), and SA (Swansea) postcode areas each saw 37 dog attacks on the posties, while the NE (Newcastle) and OX (Oxford) postcode areas experienced 35 each.

A total of 34 attacks were also recorded in the PO (Portsmouth) postcode area, while the EX (Exeter) postcode reported 32 dog attack incidents.

A postwoman for 19 years, Julie Mundy who is from Nantwich, Cheshire is reported to have been in the hospital for five days following a dog attack in 2019.

She had broken her hip and therefore, was compelled to take three months leave from work. Julie also suffered from post-traumatic stress due to this incident.

Her hip injury was reportedly caused due to stumbling backwards and falling on the ground when a customer’s dog jumped at her.

She is quoted as saying, “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.”

A Parcelforce Worldwide delivery driver from Plymouth, Tim Murray was also a victim of a dog attack in 2020 when a customer’s dog escaped through the fence and attacked him.

He is reported to have 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. 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.”

There was a 31 percent decline in dog attacks in the year 2020/2021 probably due to the change in delivery protocols and contact-free delivery during the pandemic.

However, the pre-pandemic delivery methods were followed by the postal workers after the data collection for the year 2021/2022.

Royal Mail has published these statistics as they launch Dog Awareness week, with the aim to promote dog safety.

All stamped items will carry a special Dog Awareness Week postmark from 4 July to 8 July.

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