05:00PM, Thursday 07 July 2016
The Royal Mail is urging dog owners to do more to keep postal workers safe after dog attacks on postmen and women in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead rose by 150 per cent in the last year.
The company revealed on Monday that 15 of its workers fell victim to dog attacks across the SL postcode area from April 2015 to April 2016.
This compared to only six attacks in the same period the previous year.
It was unable to confirm specific figures for each town in the area.
In an effort to protect its staff, the company this week launched its fourth Dog Awareness Week and urged dog owners to take more care, especially with the school holidays approaching.
The number of dog attacks rises by 10 per cent during the holidays, the Royal Mail said, because dogs in gardens are less likely to be supervised.
Tony Fox, operations director for Royal Mail, said: “We know that the overwhelming majority of dogs are friendly most of the time, however, even the most placid animal will defend itself if it feels its territory is being threatened.
“Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers.”
Dog owners have been asked to keep their pets in another room when the post arrives.
Access to the front door should be closed off to dogs when the post is delivered, according to the Royal Mail.
It also says that people should wait 10 minutes until after the post has arrived before letting pets back into the hallway.
Wire letter containers should also be considered to protect the postman’s fingers if dogs like to attack the mail.
Groups including the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and the National Police Chief’s Council have also now thrown their weight behind the Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week.
Visit www.royalmail.com/dogawareness for more details.