Postal workers suffered more than 1,600 dog attacks last year, several of which occurred in Portsmouth, according to the Royal Mail

Some employees sustained permanent and disabling injuries.

Royal Mail reports that 1,673 dog attacks have been recorded, an average of 32 a week across the UK.

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Most dog attacks take place on the doorstep. Image: David Rogers/Getty Images.

A total of 34 were recorded in the PO (Portsmouth) postcode area

Sheffield had the most incidents reported during the year to 31 March 2022, with 51 posties suffering from pet disputes, closely followed by Belfast at 50 and Tunbridge Wells at 44.

There have been 37 dog attacks on Royal Mail delivery staff each in the BN (Brighton), NG (Nottingham) and SA (Swansea) postcode areas, while 35 each have been recorded in the NE (Newcastle) and OX (Oxford) postcode areas and the EX ( Exeter) postcode had 32 incidents.

As in previous years, the majority of dog attacks took place on the doorstep at 654 – 39 percent.

Another 498, 30 percent, dog attacks took place in the yard, driveway, or yard, while 134, 8 percent, took place on the street or in the path.

There were also 387 injuries sustained through mailboxes – accounting for 23 percent of attacks on postal workers.

Some attacks can have devastating career effects.

Julie Mundy, from Nantwich, Cheshire, spent five days in hospital, three months out of work and suffering from post-traumatic stress following her ordeal in 2019.

The postwoman, 19, said a customer tried to restrain the dog but it escaped and jumped at her, causing her to stumble backwards and fall to the ground, breaking her hip.

She said: “By then the dog was on me but I couldn’t move – but I didn’t realize at the time that I had broken my hip. The customer came and dragged the dog from me and another neighbor from across the street came over to help.

“My arm was bleeding where the dog bit me because I tried to cover my face. The neighbor across the street cleaned me up, bandaged my arm and called an ambulance. I had to stay on the ground in the garden as I couldn’t walk.’

Ms Mundy added that she has since suffered from post-traumatic stress and often freezes when she hears a dog barking.

Attacks on letterboxes were the subject of a 2020 High Court ruling, allowing dog owners to be prosecuted if their pets have free access to the letterbox and cause injury, whether the owner is home or not.

The total number of attacks fell by 1 percent between 2020 and 2021.

It is the second year in a row that Royal Mail has reported a decrease in dog attacks on its staff.

Contactless deliveries during the pandemic lead to a 31 percent drop between 2020 and 2021.

Postal workers returned to pre-pandemic delivery methods after collecting data between 2021 and 2022.

Dave Joyce, National Health & Safety Officer, Communication Workers’ Union, said: “Dog attacks remain a major safety concern and concern for postmen and women across the UK and the scale of the problem should not be underestimated.”

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