In the coming days, anticipation will be steadily growing in the delivery sector as people prepare for Dog Awareness Week 2013, which will take place from the 15th to the 21st of July. For years, postmen, couriers and other communication have been living with the constant anxiety that they could be attacked by unruly canines. As a result, the Royal Mail has set up Dog Awareness Week, to shine a light on this unfortunate phenomenon and instigate a conversation as to how our communication workers can be protected from this plight.
Whilst these incidents have been occurring for many years, they appear to be growing in both number and severity, with 3000 attacks every year in the UK. Paul Coleman, a postman from South Yorkshire, was attacked by two unsupervised bulldog terriers 6 years ago. In a horrific attack that lasted 15 minutes and left him with significant nerve and skin damage to the arms, chest and legs; he required extensive skin grafts to repair the damage. In October 2012, postman Robert Rochester suffered a horrendous ordeal with as German Shepherd, which inflicted serious injuries that resulted in a cardiac arrest later in the evening and, sadly, his death. Graham Duffy, a deaf postie from Fife, Scotland, was doing his usual round when the attack occurred. He was unable to hear the aggressive barks of the large collie-mix, which sank its teeth into his leg. The ordeal has left graham so traumatised; he is now unable to do the job he had enjoyed so much for 4 years.
One positive to come out of this is that delivery workers have banded together and fought to have stricter laws put in place to try and reduce these unfortunate occurrences. Under pressure from the Royal Mail and the CWU, an independent report was carried out last year by Sir George Langley, to investigate the legal loophole that gives people attacked by dogs on private property significantly less rights. Following the results of this inquiry, posties all over the country were able to take a harder line against incidents such as these. A stricter procedure for suspending delivery to addresses where dog attacks regularly occur and actively seeking legal action against the owners of dangerous dogs are just the first few steps to eradicating this scourge from the country.
So next week, give some support to your delivery men and women all across the country and promote Dog Awareness Week, to stop incidents like this from occurring to a dedicated worker ever again.