Sussex contains the most dangerous postcode area in the UK for dog attacks on postal delivery workers.
Royal Mail said 65 postmen and women working in the ‘BN’ postcode suffered attacks from dogs over the last year — more than any other postcode area throughout the country.
New figures released on Monday (July, 8) said the figure in Sussex is higher than its two closest rivals: all of Northern Ireland (the ‘BT’ postcode) which saw 63 attacks, and much of South Yorkshire (the ‘S’ postcode).
Across the whole of the country, dogs attacked delivery staff a total of 2,484 times in the last twelve months — a national increase of nine per cent on the year before.
Royal Mail released the statistics at the start of its seventh “Dog Awareness Week” this week, as part of an appeal to help protect delivery workers on their rounds, and to promote responsible dog ownership.
It said over a third of all attacks took place at the front door, or in gardens, and has appealed for extra consideration by owners when the postman or postwoman calls.
Tina O’Toole, who’s been a postwoman for three years, said after an attack:
“I’ve been off work now for five weeks and I’m just about to return.
“I’d just ask customers, please don’t have your dog loose in the garden when we are on our rounds.
“Owners are responsible for their dogs — no matter where they are.
“Owners often say their dogs won’t bite but there is no guarantee.
“Any dog can become aggressive and attack.”
Tips given out by the delivery service this week include:
- Ensure your pet is out of the way before the delivery arrives. Place your dog in the back garden, or a far-away room, and make sure children can’t open the door.
- Close access to your back garden, if you have one.
- Give your dog some food or a toy to distract them.
- Consider using a wire basket behind the letterbox, if your dog likes to attack your post, or the delivery worker’s fingers.
- Think about installing a secure mailbox at the edge of your property, if it’s not practical to secure your pet inside your dwelling.
- Ensure your dog is microchipped, is wearing a collar with a tag, and the contact details are up to date.
Dog Awareness Week runs from July 8 to July 13 2019.
A special post-mark is being applied to all stamped items until the end of the week.