Lancashire

Blackburn dog attacks on postmen leads to Royal Mail delivery ban

American bulldog
Image caption An American bulldog named Winston has been blamed for three attacks on postmen

Residents in a Blackburn street have been left without postal deliveries for months after postmen were attacked three times by the same dog.

Royal Mail has repeatedly suspended deliveries to homes in the Worcester Road area of the Lancashire town since February 2014.

The dog's owner says she is obeying a court order to keep the pet restrained.

But the postal service is refusing to resume deliveries until the situation is resolved.

A spokesman said staff were attacked in February, July, and December.

Postman Ian Duncan, who suffered a deep wound to his arm, said: "It's a big powerful dog. It wasn't stopping.

"You're watching your back all the time to make sure it's not out and about and, if it is out, where you can go and secure yourself."

Image caption Postman Ian Duncan suffered a wounded arm in one of the attacks

Deliveries have been suspended several times since the first attack, meaning about 60 homes have been without post for most of the last year.

Residents are having to pick up their post from a central Blackburn sorting office.

Hayley Sandiford, who owns the American bulldog, says she is complying fully with a court order imposed in September which requires her to keep Winston muzzled and properly restrained.

She says she can't understand why so many homes are included in the delivery suspension.

A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said: "The local housing authority, the dog warden and the local police have all been informed and we are asking for their help in resolving this issue as quickly as possible.

"Suspension of delivery is always a last resort and we sincerely apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused by this temporary suspension.

"Dog attacks are a significant hazard faced by postmen and women on a daily basis. On average around nine postmen and women a day are attacked by dogs across the UK."

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