Street has no mail for six months after dog bit postie
‘Getting a nip was part of the job’
WITH its neat houses and friendly residents, Medlar Close resembles countless other suburban streets.
But appearances are deceptive. To their frustration, no one in the quiet cul-de-sac has had any mail delivered for six months – after a dog took a bite out of a postie.
Now residents have to traipse two miles to a sorting office in Guildford, Surrey, to find out if they have any letters or parcels.
The problem started when German shepherd Serj slipped out of Tom Groves’ terraced home after the latch on the front door was left off.
Mr Groves, 30, said: ‘I was out when it happened as, ironically, I had to go to the post office. The neighbours saw Serj run out and jump up at the postwoman.
‘Serj is excitable and the size of him can be intimidating when he bounds about, but he just wants to know what’s going on and to say hello when he sees someone new. He’s just a big softie, really.’
The female postal worker was bitten on the arm and needed time off work. Police used their ‘community resolution’ powers to deal with the incident and no formal action was taken against Mr Groves.
Residents received a letter from Royal Mail on September 8 informing them deliveries to Medlar Close were being suspended. It was the last post delivered to their homes.
Carol Calland, 68, a neighbour and retired police station cleaner, said: ‘It’s ridiculous. My husband had a heart problem and was waiting for hospital letters. We don’t understand why it’s taking so long to get this sorted out. Parcel delivery firms still come down here. The dog is very lovely and is welcome in my house any time. It was just a silly one-off thing.’
Mr Groves’ next- door neighbour, retired postman Ian Duncan, 74, said: ‘I was bitten by dogs umpteen times over 30 years and I didn’t even usually report it. Getting nipped was part of the job. Tom’s dog is never usually out running about. The reaction to what happened is completely over the top.’
Mr Groves has agreed to a variety of safety measures and it is understood Royal Mail are now, finally, set to agree to reinstate deliveries.
Relieved Mr Groves said: ‘I have sent my deepest apologies to the post lady. I also feel terrible for my neighbours who haven’t had their post delivered. But the whole thing does seem to have dragged on for far too long.’
A Royal Mail spokesman said: ‘We are very sorry for the inconvenience but we need to be reassured that the measures put in place protect the safety and welfare of our staff. We only suspend deliveries as a last resort.’ Last year there were 2,470 dog attacks on postmen.