Royal Mail has launched a Dog Awareness Week to raise the issue of dog attacks on postmen and women.
Between April 2012 and April 2013, there were 21 dog attacks on postal workers in the PO postcode area.
Nationally, there have been more than 5,500 attacks since April 2011, some of which have led to a permanent disability.
The attacks have resulted in a loss of 4,100 working days due to injuries and the number of attacks usually peaks during the school holidays.
Senol Ali, the director of safety for Royal Mail in the area, said: ‘We’re holding Dog Awareness Week to raise awareness of the problems our postmen and women face daily when they are delivering the mail, and are appealing to dog owners to work with us to help keep animals under control when the postman calls.
‘Last year across the country the number of dog attacks on our people fell.
‘However there were still more than 250 incidents in the south west and we need to reduce this number further as even one dog attack on our people is one dog attack too many. Clearly 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 people who provide a valuable service to our customers.’
Royal Mail has teamed up with the postal union and various animal charities to launch its Dog Awareness Week.
It has published a number of tips on its website about how to keep dogs under control when the postman delivers.
They can be found by visiting royalmailgroup.com/dogs.