THE number dog attacks on Bolton’s postmen and women has soared.

New figures reveal there were 11 attacks on the borough’s mail delivery workers between April, 2013, and April, 2014.

This has increased by 10 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

Now, as part of Dog Awareness Week Royal Mail bosses are urging dog owners to be responsible when it comes to their pets.

Delivery director Tony Baxter said: “There is growing awareness of the issue of dog attacks and the problems our postmen and women face when they are delivering the mail.

"However, last year there were still too many incidents in the BL postcode area and we need to reduce this number further as even one dog attack on our people is one too many.

“We know that most dogs are not inherently dangerous, however, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened.

"Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our employees who provide a valuable service to our customers.

"We appeal to dog owners in the BL postcode area to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature.

"It can also be simple things that help — for example just making sure the dog is kept inside when the postman calls.”

The number of attacks on postmen and women peaked during the school holidays and nationally there were more than 3,300 attacks.

Royal Mail is working in partnership with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) to raise awareness of the problem and the campaign is supported by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, National Animal Welfare Trust, The Association of Chief Police Officers and the National Dog Wardens Association.

How to help your postie

  • Ensure your dog is out of the way before the postman arrives. Place your pet in the back garden or a faraway room.
  • If you have a back garden, close off the access, in case your dog could get round to the front when the postman calls.
  • Dog attacks can happen when you’ve opened the door to sign for an item. Keep your dog in another room before answering the door and make sure children don’t open the door, as dogs can push past them and attack.
  • Give your dog some food or a toy to occupy them while your mail is being delivered.
  • Wait 10 minutes after your mail has arrived to let your pet back into your hallway. Keep everything as calm and low-key as possible.
  • If your dog likes to attack your mail consider installing a wire letter basket. It will protect your post, and your postman’s fingers
  • If it’s not practical for you to keep your dog away from a postman delivering your mail, consider fitting a secure mailbox on the edge of your property.