UPDATED: Anger after Royal Mail stops deliveries for entire street after dog attacks on postman

Whaddon Chase Aylesbury
Whaddon Chase Aylesbury

Postal services have been suspended in an Aylesbury street after a dog attacked the postman three times.

The small ‘terrier-type’ dog, which was being walked by its owner at the time, struck in Whaddon Chase on September 16 in the latest incident.

This time the the delivery worker was left shaken and with severe scratches but on other occasions hospital treatment has been required.

As a result the Royal Mail has decided to suspend the service on health and safety grounds.

Residents now have to go to the sorting office to collect their letters. Royal Mail says it does not know when the service will be resumed.

Resident Charlie Gillson, who lives in Whaddon Chase with her two young sons, said: “It’s outrageous that we’re all suffering because of just one dog. There’s no parking at the sorting office - are the Royal Mail going to let us in where all the post vans park so we can collect our post every day?

“I completely understand that they have to safeguard their employees - they’re only trying to do their job - but it seems like a far-fetched way to deal with it.

“The owner could muzzle the dog or put it in a harness to stop it slipping its collar. But to punish the whole street, it makes me quite cross.

“There are elderly and disabled people that live on the street, how are they going to get up to the sorting office? It’s not like they can get someone to collect it for them because you have to produce ID. I have no idea how long it will go on for.

“It’s going to be coming up to Christmas soon and people will be ordering Christmas presents and receiving cards through the post. No one is going to want to go up to that sorting office every day.”

Royal Mail spokesperson Sally Hopkins, said: “Royal Mail can confirm that mail deliveries to residents in Whaddon Close, Aylesbury, have been temporarily suspended following a dog attack on one of our postmen whilst he was delivering the mail on 16 September 2015.

“This was the third time this dog has attacked our postman.

“Royal Mail and the police have asked the owner to keep their dog under control so that our postman can complete his round safely.

“Unfortunately this hasn’t happened. The police are now considering whether to prosecute the dog owner.

“The safety and welfare of our staff is paramount and we only suspend deliveries if the safety of our postmen and women is at risk and as a last resort. We apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused by this temporary suspension. We have written to affected customers to let them know they can collect their mail from Aylesbury delivery office or to contact us to make alternative arrangements.

“Dog attacks are a significant hazard faced by postmen and women on a daily basis. On average eight postmen and women a day are attacked by dogs across the UK, with 2,960 attacks taking place from April 2014 to April 2015, some leading to a permanent disabling injury – 15 of these attacks were recorded in the HP postcode area. It is vital that our postmen and women are able to carry out their work safely and without any threat of attack”

The Communication Union’s health, safety and advice officer, Dave Joyce, condemned the owner of a dog which has attacked a postman on three different occasions.

He said: “The problem is what’s on the other end of the leash. This particular owner is an irresponsible owner who has been spoken to by police and the Royal Mail but she’s decided to ignore that advice and there’s only so many times that we can tolerate her behaviour.

“It’s because she walks the dog up and down the road that we’ve had to suspend services for the whole street, affecting 120 people. Hopefully peer pressure will get her to be more responsible.

“If the police take action then we can get the deliveries restarted, if the individual in question becomes a little more responsible then we can get the deliveries started.”

Mr Joyce confirmed that the postman in question had to have hospital treatment and medication after being bitten by the dog before.