Dog attacks stop deliveries

Royal Mail have stopped delivering to an entire street because they say their posties have repeatedly been attacked by a dog.

Post has not been delivered to homes in Dorset Gardens in Kingsthorpe in Northampton (pictured below) since December following the incidents, thought to involve a terrier.

On Wednesday Royal Mail said the move was a "last resort" and apologised for the inconvenience.

Royal Mail LetterA spokesman said: "Royal Mail delivery staff have repeatedly been attacked by a dog in Dorset Gardens and, as a last resort, deliveries were suspended. We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers in Dorset Gardens. We want to resume deliveries as soon as our people can enter the close without being bitten by a dog."

He said Royal Mail was doing everything it could to help people in Dorset Gardens get their mail, which could be collected from nearby Kingsthorpe Post Office, or delivered free of charge to any other address in the surrounding area.

He added: "There are around 5,000 dog attacks a year on Royal Mail people, which cause great distress and, in many cases, serious injuries."

The situation means that for the last month people like Sarah - who's just signed up to the Territorial Army - have had to pick up their letters from a delivery office:

"I get my mail from The T.A and my bills for my mobile and because I haven't seen the bills, I've been threatened with men coming to the door or threatening to take my mobile away really."

Sarah's Mum Sue Hadden told Heart she didn't think it would last this long:

"Well the first indication that we had of it was when we got a letter from the post office (pictured above), and we thought, oh well, it'll only last a couple of weeks as the letter says and we'll get our mail again. But no such luck I'm afriad."

Northampton Borough Council said it had also received reports from Royal Mail and concerned neighbours that a council tenant was failing to control an aggressive dog. The council said tenants living in houses are allowed to keep up to two dogs, but only with the permission and subject to conditions. If the tenant breaches the conditions, the council can withdraw the permission.

Dorset GardensA spokesman said: "In December our housing officers received reports from Royal Mail and concerned neighbours that one of our tenants was failing to control an aggressive dog. We visited the property to meet with the tenant and agreed with them that their pet would be kept on a leash when outside and that steps would be taken to prevent the dog from escaping the property.

"Unfortunately we had further complaints that the dog was a nuisance to the neighbourhood, leaving the property and acting aggressively. We again tried to work with the tenant to get them to control their pet; however, as the problem has continued we were left with no option but to request the dog be rehomed. We wrote to the tenant on January 6 to inform them that they had seven days to re-home their dog. We are monitoring the situation and are considering taking legal action, which could result in the tenant losing their house.''

A Northamptonshire Police spokeswoman said they were aware of an incident involving a terrier on December 7, but their involvement went no further.