SHEFFIELD and Leeds are named today as two of the worst cities for dog attacks on postal workers.
The number of such attacks remains “unacceptable”, with over a third of incidents happening at the front door, a report shows.
Around seven attacks a day are being reported, a fall of 10% over the past year, but incidents usually increase during the summer holidays, when dogs are more likely to be in the garden.
The Royal Mail launched its annual Dog Awareness Week with a survey showing that one in four dog owners admitted they had left their pet loose in the house when a front door was open.
Dr Shaun Davis, Royal Mail’s director of safety, said: “As a dog owner myself, I know that the overwhelming majority of dogs are friendly most of the time. But even the most placid animal will defend itself if it feels its territory is being threatened.
“Our postmen and women deliver to over 29 million addresses across the country. We ask them to exercise caution and respect for all family members, including pets when delivering the mail.
“This summer, we are also appealing to dog owners and their families to help reduce the numbers of attacks, particularly at the door and in the garden.”
Dave Joyce, of the Communication Workers Union, said: “Over 2,600 dog attacks on postal workers a year is unacceptable.
“Most dog attacks on postmen and women occur at the doorstep of the dog’s owner home. The vast majority of our customers and their dogs aren’t a problem but irresponsible and reckless dog owners are.
“The new dog control laws now identify and penalise chronically irresponsible dog owners. One owner was recently fined £8,800 after his dog injured a postwoman as she put letters through the door.
“The penalties can include losing their dogs and jail. Dog owners need to fully understand that their actions usually are the cause of a dog being dangerous and simple precautions can prevent the pain for everyone concerned.”
Nottingham, Peterborough, Northern Ireland, Tonbridge, Reading and Plymouth were also named as problem areas.