Dog owners face tough new laws as Sheffield is UK black spot for attacks on posties

Sheffield saw 51 dog attacks on postmen and woman in 2016/2017
Sheffield saw 51 dog attacks on postmen and woman in 2016/2017

Sheffield is one of the highest places in the UK for dog attacks on postmen and women.

Posties doing the rounds in the city were attacked 51 times by pooches in one year during 2016-2017, according to new figures from the Communication Workers Union.

Around 70 per cent of which were carried out on garden paths and in the door ways of people's homes when delivering the post.

Sheffield sits between the Kent areas of Tonbridge and Medway and Guildford in Surrey.

Workers in Brighton recorded 64 incidents - the highest in England while Northern Ireland is the dog attack black spot with 67.

The figures come as former Sheffield councillor Diana Stimely had the top of her finger bitten off by a dog when delivering an election leaflet in School Road, Crookes in 2012.

Thestats run alongside the launch of 'Dog Awareness Week' which aims to raise awareness of attacks on postmen and women and to encourage responsible dog ownership.

CWU national health and safety officer Dave Joyce said: " Seven postal workers attacked by dogs every day of the year is unacceptable and the whole idea of Dog Awareness Week is to highlight the problem and the repercussions for dog owners and the victims, many of whom are seriously injured.

"The vast majority of our customers and their dogs aren't a problem but irresponsible and reckless dog owners are.

“Dog owners need to fully understand that their actions usually are the cause of a dog being dangerous and simple precautions can prevent the pain for everyone concerned. No matter what breed of dog is involved, the dog can present a substantial danger to postal workers.”

New dog control laws now identify and penalises irresponsible dog owners and many are now facing prosecution and paying heavy court penalties and getting criminal records.

According to the CWU, one owner was recently fined £8,800 after his dog injured a postwoman’s fingers as she put letters through the door.

The penalties can include losing their dogs, being banned from dog ownership, paying compensation, big fines and even a jail sentence.