Dog attacks on town’s postmen down in number

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Dog attacks on postmen and women in the Harrogate district have halved in number in the past two years, new figures show.

Data, released by Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU), shows that five staff have been bitten by dogs in Harrogate in the year to April, 2012.

This figure is down by 58 per cent since 2010, but has still been branded “unnacceptable” by the company which has now launched a ‘Bite Back’ campaign.

“The age old image of the dog attacking the postman is not a laughing matter,” said Dave Joyce, health and safety officer for CWU. “Thousands of our members are bitten every year and hundreds suffer debilitating injuries.”

The Bite Back campaign asks customers to keep their dogs under control, particularly over the summer holidays when the number of attacks usually peaks.

Since April 2011, over 3,100 postmen and women were attacked by dogs countrywide. That figure is down 14 per cent year on year.

Ian Stockdale, head of health and safety for Royal Mail said: “Even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened.”

Royal Mail says it has spent £100,000 on campaigns and equipment to protect its staff. This includes handing out 90,000 ‘posting pegs’ to help protect the fingers of its postmen and women.

“Prevention is always better than the cure,” said Mr Joyce.