Dog on the Move

Canine Consciousness Week: Royal Mail stories over 1,600 assaults on Posties final yr

Royal Mail has introduced there have been 1,673 canine assaults reported on its workers final yr, a mean of 32 assaults each week throughout the UK, with some resulting in everlasting and disabling accidents.

The figures have been launched firstly of the tenth Canine Consciousness Week which runs from immediately to the tenth July and goals to encourage accountable canine possession.

Royal Mail is interesting to canine homeowners to make sure they perceive the often-devastating affect of canine assaults on postmen and postwomen and take correct measures to make sure their pets pose no menace to postal staff by accountable canine possession.

Sheffield was town that had essentially the most incidents reported in the course of the yr to 31 March 2022, with 51 postmen or ladies struggling canine assaults, carefully adopted by Belfast, with 50 assaults. Tunbridge Wells was in third place with 44 assaults on Royal Mail colleagues.

The overall variety of assaults represents a 1% drop throughout 2021/22. That is the second yr operating Royal Mail has reported a discount in canine assaults on its workers (final yr noticed a 31% decline), thought once more to be attributed by the transfer to contact free deliveries in the course of the pandemic. The corporate’s pre-pandemic supply strategies had been reinstated in April of this yr, after the tip of the reporting interval.

As in earlier years, nearly all of canine assaults, 654 (39%), came about on the entrance door. An extra 498 (30%) of canine assaults came about within the backyard, driveway or yard. 134 (8%) of assaults came about on the street or street.

There have been 387 accidents suffered by the letterbox – accounting for 23% of assaults on postal staff. Letterbox assaults had been the topic of a 2020 Excessive Courtroom ruling that acknowledged canine homeowners (or these in care of a canine) will be prosecuted if their pets have free entry to the letterbox and trigger harm to any supply operative, whether or not the proprietor is at house or not. In Could 2017, a Royal Mail postman misplaced the tip of his finger whereas delivering to a buyer’s tackle. In October 2021 the canine proprietor was sentenced to a 12-month group order, 150 hours of unpaid work, £1000 in prices to Royal Mail, a sufferer surcharge of £85, and a suspended destruction order was positioned on the canine.

Canine assaults on Royal Mail colleagues resulted in additional than 1712 days of absence in 2021/22 with the longest interval of absence being 238 days. Royal Mail is aware of that canines should not inherently harmful, however, even essentially the most placid animal will be susceptible to assault if it feels both it or its territory is being threatened.  Royal Mail is dedicated to making sure the welfare and security of our individuals who present a useful service to our clients throughout the size and breadth of the UK and in each group.

For Royal Mail’s devoted parcel routes, the hand-held units utilized by supply drivers now have a function that alerts the consumer {that a} canine is current on the property – that is proven by a canine image registered on the tackle. The alert system is being deployed throughout units utilized by all Royal Mail posties over the approaching months.

Elevating Consciousness:

Philip Graham, Royal Mail Interim Director of Security, Well being, Wellbeing & Sustainability stated: 

“We’re happy to see a slight lower in canine assaults on our crew this previous yr. Nevertheless, as we start to return to pre-pandemic supply procedures, we wish to ask our clients to proceed to concentrate on the place their pets are when the postman delivers their mail.

“We all know the variety of assaults rises in the course of the college holidays and in the summertime months when dad and mom and youngsters are at house and canines are typically allowed unsupervised within the backyard or out onto the streets with out restraints – so whereas we would like our clients to take pleasure in being outdoors with their pets, we additionally wish to ask them to contemplate the hazard unsupervised canines pose to our colleagues.”

Dave Joyce, Nationwide Well being & Security Officer, Communication Employees’ Union, stated:

“Canine assaults stay a serious security hazard and concern for postmen and ladies throughout the UK and the dimensions of the issue shouldn’t be underestimated.

“I’ve written to the DEFRA Secretary of State George Eustice calling for a gathering to  focus on what extra the federal government and police can do to toughen up the canine management legal guidelines  – such is my concern.

“The important thing aims of Canine Consciousness Week are to primarily remind the general public to concentrate on  their authorized and ethical tasks to regulate their pets and forestall canine assaults on postal staff – and secondly is a message to our Postmen and Ladies to be vigilant, preserve protected and take no dangers.”

Julie Mundy, a postwoman for 19 years, tells her story:

A canine assault in 2019, left Julie Mundy off work for 3 months, and terrified if she heard a lot as a bark on her supply spherical.

“I used to be delivering a parcel to a buyer. I had by no means seen a canine there as a result of the proprietor had all the time saved it out of the way in which. On this event, any person else got here to the door for the parcel and introduced the canine with them. Like many others, they tried to carry on to the canine whereas on the similar time making an attempt to just accept their mail. This time the canine broke free and dived straight at me. I began again as a result of I simply wasn’t anticipating it and I fell on the curb within the backyard and broke my hip.

“By then the canine was on high of me however I couldn’t transfer – however I didn’t realise at that time I had damaged my hip. The shopper got here and dragged the canine off me and one other neighbour from throughout the street came visiting to assist. My arm was bleeding the place the canine had bitten me as a result of I had been making an attempt to cowl my face. The neighbour from throughout the street cleaned me up and bandaged my arm and known as an ambulance. I needed to stay on the ground within the backyard as I couldn’t stroll.

“I spent 5 days in hospital. The ache was horrendous. I used to be subsequently off work for 3 months. The police determined to not prosecute the proprietor. As a substitute, Royal Mail took the proprietor to court docket. The canine’s proprietor acquired an 18-month suspended jail sentence.

“Following the assault, I’ve suffered from post-traumatic stress. As quickly as I hear a barking canine, I freeze. It by no means used to hassle me that a lot however I’m not as assured as I was.

“If I needed to give our clients one piece of recommendation, it will be, please don’t carry your canines to the door with you to just accept your mail or parcels. Individuals are changing into extra conscious that they are often prosecuted if their canine bites anybody visiting their property for work.”

Tim Murray, a Parcelforce Worldwide supply driver tells his story: 

A canine assault in 2020 left Tim Murray terrified of canines – together with his personal. The driving force based mostly at a Parcelforce Worldwide depot remembers his lengthy journey again to bodily and psychological well being.

“I’d been conscious of a canine on the property for a very long time – however not of the breed or nature. I gave the proprietor a thumbs-up as I noticed him in a close-by subject strolling two canines. I used to be delivering a parcel and, as he made his option to the gateway to gather it, one of many canines paced up and down the fence line till he discovered a gap sufficiently big to flee.

“It dawned on me that this canine wasn’t educated – and that it was about to assault. The proprietor known as his title. However it was too late. The canine had already bitten my hand. I used to be in a world of ache and shock, trying to defend myself with my steel-capped boots, making an attempt to maintain the canine at bay. However the harm was executed.

“I used to be the proprietor of a playful pet on the time. I started avoiding him in worry of him leaping up or nibbling me. He would try to cuddle into me, carry me his toys and never go away my facet. It’s taken me over a yr to benefit from the sight of one other canine. I had an operation on the tendon in my hand and was in hospital for a number of days. I used to be informed to keep away from work for per week and solely undertake mild duties for six weeks.

“The canine proprietor was cautioned and ordered to maintain his canine underneath management. Nevertheless Royal Mail refuses to ship to anybody whose canines assaults their folks. Now, the canine proprietor has to go to a supply workplace to gather parcels – though he nonetheless receives letters in a postbox on the finish of his driveway that posties entry from the safety of their van. I usually drive previous and see the canine in a window.”

Royal Mail says it continues to push for adjustments within the regulation to replicate the severity of those assaults as an additional type of safety for its folks.

Following adjustments to the Harmful Canines Act in England and Wales that got here into drive in Could 2014, Royal Mail has carried out over 30 personal prosecutions towards canine homeowners. This has punished offenders and additional raised consciousness. It’s hoped that these actions will forestall additional assaults by forcing homeowners to place in place proposer management measures to make sure a canine doesn’t assault once more.

They’ve additionally efficiently launched two actions within the Excessive Courtroom that settled the regulation in relation to the felony legal responsibility of canine homeowners when postal staff have their fingers bitten whereas posting objects by a letterbox. These circumstances clarified the regulation in regard as to whether fingers inserted by a letter field amounted to a trespass and thus gave the householder a possible defence.  The Courtroom held that offered it was for the aim of posting mail, no trespass was dedicated. In summing up the choose talked about {that a} cage being fitted would go some option to stopping a number of the horrible accidents suffered by our colleagues.

To assist promote canine security, a particular Canine Consciousness Week postmark might be utilized to all stamped objects from immediately, Monday 4 July to Friday 8 July 2021.

Please go to for hints and recommendations on canine security.

Prime Ideas for Canine Homeowners

Even essentially the most lovable canine could be a hazard to postal workers. Canines are territorial by nature and in the event that they really feel they should defend their household, they will turn into unpredictable.

Listed below are some concepts to assist your postman ship your put up in security:

  • Guarantee your canine is out of the way in which earlier than the postman or postwoman arrives. Place your pet within the again backyard or a faraway room.
  • By no means open the door when your canine is behind you
  • If in case you have a again backyard, please shut off the entry, in case your canine might get round to the entrance when the postman or postwoman calls.
  • Canine assaults can occur if you’ve opened the door to signal for an merchandise. Please preserve your canine in one other room earlier than answering the door and ensure youngsters don’t open the door, as canines can push by them and assault.
  • Give your canine some meals or a toy to occupy them whereas your mail is being delivered
  • Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived to let your pet again into your hallway. Preserve the whole lot as calm and low-key as doable.
  • In case your canine likes to assault your mail, contemplate putting in a wire letter receptacle. It is going to defend your put up, and your postman’s or postwoman’s fingers
  • If it’s not sensible so that you can preserve your canine away from a postman or postwoman delivering your mail, please contemplate becoming a safe mailbox on the sting of your property.
  • Please guarantee your canine is microchipped, sporting a collar and tag, and that your contact particulars on the tag and microchip are updated.

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