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Case Studies

Decrease in dog attacks on postal workers

During Dog Awareness Week by Royal Mail a postmark will be applied to all stamped items from Monday to Sunday, July 5 to 11. Royal Mail has reported a 31 per cent drop in reported dog attacks on its postmen and postwomen, due largely to contact free deliveries due to the covid pandemic: 1,690 last year, compared to 2,445 in 2019-20.

For covid safety, postal workers place larger parcels on the doorstep, then step to a safe distance while the customer retrieves their item.

Some 690 of last year’s dog attacks (41 per cent of the total) still took place at the front door. A further 31pc of attacks (520) took place in the garden, driveway or yard. A fifth of attacks on postal workers (340) took place through the letterbox; and 130, or eight per cent on the street or road.

Dr Shaun Davis, Royal Mail Group Global Director of Safety, Health, Wellbeing and Sustainability said: “We are pleased to see such a significant decrease in dog attacks on our staff this past year. However, 33 dog attacks per week on postal workers is still alarmingly high. We are aware that a change in our delivery procedures was the main factor for the reduction in attacks this year. So, we are asking our customers – and our colleagues – not to become complacent as there is still much work to do in bringing the figure down even further. The safety of our people is of paramount importance as they work hard to keep the UK connected.”

As for where the attacks happen, the BN (Brighton) postcode area had most incidents reported during the year, 58. The S postcode area (Sheffield) saw the second highest number of dog attacks, 55. This figure was down 13pc on the previous year’s 63. The S postcode area has appeared in every one of the top ten list for dog attacks on Royal Mail postal workers since an inaugural Dog Awareness Week in 2014. Third came the BT postcode area (Belfast); fourth, PO (Portsmouth) and fifth IP postcode area (Ipswich). Areas listed sixth to tenth were TN (Tunbridge Wells); GL (Gloucester); NG (Nottingham); AB (Aberdeen) and BS (Bristol).

Royal Mail says that it continues to push for changes in the law to reflect the severity of such attacks as a further form of protection for its people. After changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act in England and Wales that came into force in May 2014, Royal Mail has carried out over 25 private prosecutions against dog owners. Visit

The trade union CWU points to the increase in dogs purchased by new owners, locked down during the pandemic. Many of these dogs haven’t been trained or socialised, and new owners may regret buying a dog that could be a risk to postal workers.

Royal Mail suggest:

– Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman or postwoman arrives. Place your pet in the back garden or a faraway room.
– Never open the door when your dog is behind you.
– If you have a back garden, close off the access, in case your dog could get around to the front when the postman or postwoman calls.
– Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to sign for an item. Please keep your dog in another room before answering the door and make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push by them and attack.
– Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered
– Wait ten minutes after your mail has arrived to let your pet back into your hallway. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.
– If your dog likes to attack your mail, consider installing a wire letter receptacle. It will protect your post, and your postman’s or postwoman’s fingers
– If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman or postwoman delivering your mail, consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.


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