200 dog attacks on Royal Mail delivery staff in a year

25 June 2018, 06:23

Royal Mail postman

There have been more than 200 dog attacks on postmen and women in Scotland in the last year, according to new figures.

Royal Mail released the statistics as it launches its sixth successive Dog Awareness week, which aims to highlight the problem and encourage responsible dog ownership.

In Scotland the AB postcode covering Aberdeen proved the most risky for posties, with 38 of the 211 attacks in 2017/18 taking place there.

It was closely followed by the Glasgow G postcode where 34 attacks took place, while there were 19 attacks in the DD area, covering Dundee.

Last year a postman in Paisley, Renfrewshire was unable to work for three months after he was attacked on his rounds.

Alan Quinn, a postman for 10 years, was delivering to a house with a German Shepherd when he was attacked and bitten on his arm. He needed hospital treatment and physiotherapy following the attack.

The dog owner was later prosecuted in the courts, Royal Mail said.

Mr Quinn, from Paisley, said: "I had been delivering there for over 10 years and the dog was never a problem, but on this day it got out and jumped on me at the external postbox and bit and tore into my arm and I was screaming for help covered in blood. The owner then took me to hospital. I never for a moment expected it.

"I'm not on the route anymore but I am very wary of dogs now - more than before.

"I'd just ask customers, please keep your dog away from the door. Don't have your dog loose in the garden when we are all on our rounds."

Royal Mail tips to dog owners include ensuring the animal is out of the way before the postman or woman arrives, keeping the dog in another room before opening the front door to sign for something, and installing a wire letter receptacle if your pet likes to attack the post.

Dr Shaun Davis, Royal Mail Group global director of safety, health, wellbeing & sustainability said: "One attack is still one attack too many. Our research continues to show that attacks happen most often in the summer, so we are continuing our campaign to appeal to customers to help us cut attacks across the UK."

He added: "I am appealing to dog owners to think twice when the postman calls. We know that dogs are not inherently dangerous. But, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels it or its territory is being threatened.

"Dog attacks have a devastating effect on our people and on our customers and we hope we can make a further impact in these areas. "

Dog Awareness week runs from June 25 to 30.