Unprecedented Surge in Dog Attacks on Postal Workers: Royal Mail Reveals Shocking Statistics

Unprecedented Surge in Dog Attacks on Postal Workers: Royal Mail Reveals Shocking Statistics

Unprecedented Surge in Dog Attacks on Postal Workers

Unprecedented Surge in Dog Attacks on Postal Workers

Unprecedented Surge in Dog Attacks on Postal Workers

The UK’s leading mail delivery company, Royal Mail, has disclosed alarming figures that reveal a significant rise in dog attacks on postal workers. The unsettling data points to Tunbridge Wells, a Kent postcode, as the most hazardous area for postal staff.

Between April 2022 and March 2023, the mail carrier registered a staggering total of 1,916 dog attacks on postal workers. This disturbing number marks a 14% increase from the previous year’s figure of 1,673 incidents, with an average of 37 incidents a week.

Royal Mail’s report revealed some distressing incidents where workers suffered grievous injuries from canine attacks. In one such horrifying event, a woman had to undergo multiple surgeries, including reconstructive surgery, after a dog bit her elbow.

This is the first year that the Tunbridge Wells postcode (TN) has claimed the ignominious title of the worst offender for dog attacks. This, after being listed among the top offending areas for nine consecutive years. The report showed a worrying 48% rise in attacks within the TN postcode, increasing from 44 attacks last year to 65 this year.

Following closely in second place was Belfast’s BT postcode with 56 incidents, marking a minor increase from last year’s 50 attacks. Sheffield, despite witnessing a 2% decrease in attacks, still holds the third spot with 50 dog-related incidents.

The unveiling of these figures coincided with the commencement of the annual Dog Awareness Week. The week-long event is organised to promote responsible dog ownership and safeguard postal workers from the potential dangers they face from domestic pets.

Over the year, more than 900 dog attacks occurred at front doors, constituting 47% of incidents. Gardens, driveways, or yards were the sites of a further 27% of attacks, while 11% happened in the streets. The remaining 20% of injuries were inflicted through letterboxes.

The impact of these attacks on the workers and the company is substantial. Royal Mail reported over 3,000 days of absence over the past year due to dog-related incidents, with one individual needing a staggering 139 days to recover.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said, “Royal Mail knows that dogs are not inherently dangerous, but, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels either it or its territory is being threatened.”

One postwoman, Kimberley Link, 50, shared her horrific experience after she was mauled by a large dog during her rounds in July 2022. The trauma led to bad scarring, permanent nerve damage, multiple operations, and six months off work.

Ms Link advised dog owners, “Dogs are defensive of their home, so, if possible, put them in another room before opening the door to the postie because most dogs will try and push their way past their owner to the door.”

Lizz Lloyd, Royal Mail’s Health and Safety Director, voiced her concerns about the rising number of attacks. She noted the particularly high incidence of incidents during school holidays and summer months when dogs are often unsupervised.

The Workers Union says…

We love our pets, but we strongly urge dog owners to take responsibility for their pets’ actions and support our postal workers, who are essential for maintaining a vital communication service in the country. Their safety should be a priority, not an afterthought”.

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