UK

Dog attacks on postal workers fall by 10% - Royal Mail

Royal Mail postman

Dog attacks on postal workers have fallen by 10% in the past year to just under 3,000, Royal Mail has said.

Court cases involving attacks by dogs also increased by 62% in the six months to December, it said, with a similar rise in successful prosecutions.

Last May laws in England and Wales were changed to give people legal protection against attacks on private property.

The figures were released as the company launched its annual dog awareness week.

'Doing their jobs'

Shaun Davis of Royal Mail welcomed the reduction in attacks but said eight postmen and women were still attacked every day.

"We are completely committed to driving this figure down further," he said.

Dave Joyce of the Communication Workers Union said: "Carelessness by dog owners can cause postal workers serious problems if they don't think about controlling their animals when letters and parcels are being delivered.

"Over 15,000 postal workers have been attacked by dogs over the last five years for simply doing their jobs."

The changes made to the Dangerous Dogs Act mean dog owners are prosecuted if their animal attacks a person in their home or on any private property, except if they attack a trespasser.

Animal Welfare Minister Lord de Mauley said in May the change would "give protection to those who provide vital services in the community - postal workers, nurses, utility workers".

The maximum prison sentence for allowing a dog to injure someone was also increased from two years to five.

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