Dog attacks are making life hell for our posties
It is often an image conjured up by comic books but the reality is huge numbers of postmen and women are being attacked by dogs when delivering our mail.
Latest figures show they reported 147 incidents in Kent during the 2016/17 financial year.
This amounts to 12 fewer attacks on postal staff reported from April 2015 to April 2016.
In total 695 attacks have been reported across the county by Royal Mail workers delivering the post in the last five financial years.
But in the TN postal code areas, which include Ashford, Tenterden and Romney Marsh, the number of attacks actually fell in the last year, down 9% from 56 in 2015/16 to 51 in 2016/17. In the past five years, there have been 278 incidents.
In the CT postal code areas, the numbers rose from 34 in 2015/16 to 35 in 2016/17 – a 3% rise. There have been 127 incidents in the last five years.
Nationally, in the last five years, there have been 14,500 attacks, out of which more than 2,400 took place in the last year.
It means every day seven postmen or women are attacked by a dog.
The majority of injuries were bites but there were cuts, bruises and damaged tendons, and two cases led to amputations.
The number of dog attacks on postal workers has fallen by 7% on the previous year to 2,471.
Royal Mail says while the reduction is encouraging, it is still too high and says its first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of its employees.
Royal Mail’s research also shows that the number of attacks rises during the school holidays and in the summer, when parents and children are at home.
In the last year, 71% of dog attacks on postal workers happened at the front door or in the front garden where dogs are more likely to be unsupervised.
Dr Shaun Davis, Royal Mail Group global director of safety, health, wellbeing and sustainability, said: “Some of these attacks have led to extremely serious and life-changing injuries.
“Our postmen and women need to be able to deliver the service they provide to communities across the UK, without the risk of injury.”
Dave Joyce, Communication Workers Union national health and safety officer, said: “Seven postal workers attacked by dogs every day is unacceptable.”
Seven postmen or women every day are attacked by a dog, according to Royal Mail figures