A TOTAL of 35 postal workers in Oxford have been attacked by dogs.

Some postal workers have been left with permanent and disabling injuries from dog attacks, with than 1,600 incidents reported throughout the UK in the last year.

A total of 1,673 attacks were recorded, an average of 32 every week across the UK, according to Royal Mail.

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As well as 35 attacks at Oxford postcodes, 35 attacks took place in Newcastle and 37 took place in Brighton, Nottingham and Swansea.

Sheffield had the most incidents reported during the year with 51 posties suffering dog attacks, closely followed by Belfast, with 50, and Tunbridge Wells with 44.

A total of 34 were recorded in the Portsmouth postcode area, while the Exeter postcode had 32 reports.

As in previous years, the majority of dog attacks, 654 (39 per cent), took place at the front door.

A further 498 (30 per cent) dog attacks took place in the garden, driveway or yard, while 134 (eight per cent) took place in the street or road.

There were also 387 injuries suffered through letterboxes – accounting for 23 per cent of attacks on postal workers.

Letterbox attacks were the subject of a 2020 High Court ruling that stated dog owners can be prosecuted if their pets have free access to the letterbox and cause injury, whether the owner is at home or not.

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he total number of attacks dropped 1 per cent from 2020/2021, making it the second year running Royal Mail has reported a reduction in dog attacks on its staff.

The year 2020/2021 saw a 31 per cent decline which is thought to have been a result of contact-free deliveries during the pandemic.

However, postal workers reverted back to pre-pandemic delivery methods after the data had been collected for 2021/2022.

Dave Joyce, national health and safety officer for the Communication Workers’ Union, said: “Dog attacks remain a major safety hazard and concern for postmen and women across the UK and the scale of the problem shouldn’t be underestimated.

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I have written to the Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Secretary of State George Eustice calling for a meeting to discuss what more the Government and police can do to toughen up the dog control laws – such is my concern.”

The figures are published as Royal Mail launches Dog Awareness week, to help promote dog safety.

A special Dog Awareness Week postmark will be applied to all stamped items from Monday, July 4 to Friday July 8.


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