Shocking figures reveal Sheffield is hotspot for dog attacks on posties
Postal workers were attacked by dogs on average more than once a week in and around Sheffield last year – making it one of the worst hotspots for the problem in the country.
Figures issued by Royal Mail have revealed there were 55 canine attacks on the city postcode area’s postmen and women in the last year, which was more than any other part of the country other than Brighton.
They are being highlighted this week for Dog Awareness Week.
The figure for the city was down 13 per cent on last year’s total of 63 incidents though. The ‘S’ postcode area has appeared in every one of the Top 10 list for dog attacks on Royal Mail postal workers since its inaugural Dog Awareness Week in 2014.
Royal Mail is urging all dog owners to think twice when they open the door when the postman or postwoman calls.
Sheffield postie Paul Coleman, from Richmond, suffered serious injuries in 2007 on his round when he was set upon by two bulldog terriers, who mauled him for 15 minutes.
He was dragged to the ground by the animals who tore chunks out of his legs and caused Paul serious arm and chest injuries. He was in hospital for six days and had to undergo skin grafts and plastic surgery.
At one stage surgeons feared Paul might lose his right arm.
A man was jailed for nine months in connection with the incident.
Royal Mail believes the figure has dropped this year due the move to contact free deliveries during the pandemic, where staff place larger parcels on the doorstep, then step aside to a safe distance while the customer retrieves their item.
Communication Workers Union health and safety officer Dave Joyce added: ”There has been a huge increase in dogs purchased by new owners, during the pandemic. This may add to postal workers’ problems as recent research tells us that many of these dogs haven’t been trained or socialised.
“The key objectives of Dog Awareness Week are firstly to remind the public to be aware of their legal and moral responsibilities to control their dogs and help prevent dog attacks on postal workers who have been heroes working through the pandemic as key workers.”