A DEDICATED postman who has been bitten by dogs four times while on the job has welcomed the involvement of the town’s MP in a new campaign to help protect postmen and women’s safety.
Ian Palmer (right) told the Observer getting Harriett Baldwin’s support for the Royal Mail-led campaign will help a great deal after being left ‘shaken up’ several times in his 18-year career.
Last week Mrs Baldwin pledged her support to the campaign, also supported by The Dogs Trust, which aims to reduce the amount of postmen and women being attacked by dogs when delivering the post.
Ian is certainly not the only one to have been attacked by dogs as more than 3,000 incidents were reported last year across the UK, with dozens taking place in Mrs Baldwin’s constituency including Malvern.
As well as the campaign, Royal Mail staff have been helped by new legislation coming into force which states animal owners can be prosecuted for attacks which take place on private property when mail is being delivered.
After meeting with the town’s MP, Ian said her involvement would help raise awareness of the issues post workers face on a daily basis.
“Harriett’s been a great help to us as she has helped put this law through where we can prosecute if we get bit on people’s property,” he said.
“Having her on board has been a big boost.”
“Before we could only prosecute if a dog had been let loose on the street but now it also includes their property as well which is great.
“We obviously didn’t want it to get that far but we just want everybody to realise this is a big problem for us and be mindful of their dogs.”
And Ian said not many people know the full scale of receiving a bite as the incidents he suffered from had left him severely affected.
“These bites do shake you up, even if they don’t bite it still can shake you up a little bit and they’ve broken the skin a few times,” he added.
“It’s not just the fact you’ve been bitten but it does shake you up and your heart is pounding afterwards. It’s quite a traumatic experience.
“Everybody is sorry but it doesn’t make up for what has happened. Their favourite response is ‘oh they have not done that before’ which you hear a lot.”
Visit www.royalmailgroup.com/customers/customer-commitment/preventing-dog-attacks for more information about the campaign.