Northern Ireland news

Belfast Royal Mail postal workers attacked by dogs 50 times last year

Postmen and postwomen across the UK suffered 1,673 dog attacks between 2021 and 2022

ROYAL Mail workers in Belfast were attacked by dogs 50 times last year - the second-highest figure in the UK.

Only Sheffield, with 51 reported attacks on postal workers, fared worse.

Postmen and postwomen across the UK suffered 1,673 dog attacks between 2021 and 2022, new figures from the postal service show.

Some of the attacks led to permanent and disabling injuries.

Belfast has been one of the worst areas for dog attacks for years.

Despite a 35 per cent drop in attacks in 2021 - mainly due to the use of contact-free deliveries during the pandemic - this year has seen a two per cent increase in attacks in the city.

The BT postcode area has featured in Royal Mail's top 10 list of dog attack hotspots since yearly figures were released.

It has topped the list four times.

Most dog attacks (39 per cent) took place at the front door of customers' homes, around 30 per cent took place in the garden, driveway or yard. Around 23 per cent of attacks happened through a letterbox.

Royal Mail appealed to dog owners to make sure their pets are kept under control.

Philip Graham, from Royal Mail, appealed to customers to be aware of where their pets are.

"We know the number of attacks rises during the school holidays and in the summer months when parents and children are at home and dogs are sometimes allowed unsupervised in the garden or out onto the streets without restraints – so while we want our customers to enjoy being outside with their pets, we also want to ask them to consider the danger unsupervised dogs pose to our colleagues," he said.

Dave Joyce from the Communication Workers' Union, said: "Dog attacks remain a major safety hazard and concern for postmen and women across the UK and the scale of the problem shouldn't be underestimated."

For tips on dog safety, visit www.royalmail.com/dogawareness

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