Postie attacks high on Fylde Coast

Lesley Oulton, of Lindsey Court St Annes, has been a postwoman for seven years and has been attacked several times by dogs whilst out on her round, and even once by a cat.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'12-12-2012

Lesley Oulton, of Lindsey Court St Annes, has been a postwoman for seven years and has been attacked several times by dogs whilst out on her round, and even once by a cat. PIC BY ROB LOCK'12-12-2012

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THE latest shock figures have revealed Blackpool is a dangerous town to work as a postie.

And here’s one delivery lady who can attest to just that.

The Fylde coast is in the top half of the table of the number of postal workers bitten by dogs while going about their rounds between April 2011 and April this year in the North West.

Beneath larger cities like Preston, Manchester and Liverpool, the resort is sixth in the table, with 20 postal workers attacked during the last year.

One of those was 60-year-old postie Lesley Oulton, who has been bitten twice by dogs out for walks and has also been attacked by a cat.

The most recent incident was when Mrs Oulton was delivering mail on Mere Road in Blackpool.

She said: “The owner walked past me with two dogs on a lead, then one of the dogs doubled back and bit me.

“I really didn’t expect it.”

The incident, on Friday July 13, left Mrs Oulton with a nasty cut just above her left knee.

The dog’s teeth had seared through her waterproof trousers and broken the skin.

Mrs Oulton, of Lindsay Court, South Shore, said she did not need to go to hospital as she’d already had a tetanus jab for another dog bite four years ago.

She added: “It was really just superficial, but it left me shaken up.

“I am really wary of dogs now.”

Mrs Oulton’s first dog attack involved a pit bull terrier, which she said was being walked by a child near Stanley Park in Marton. She said: “It just went for me and bit me in the middle of my thigh.

“Although there was no blood it really gave me a nasty bruise - about eight inches in diameter.

“My experiences have involved dogs who are out and on leads, but I’m still wary when I put post through the letter box as you never know what’s on the other side.”

And her wariness is well founded as earlier this year Mrs Oulton’s exposed fingers were attacked by a cat lying in wait on the other side of the door. She said: “I’m waiting to be attacked by a parrot next.”

Releasing the dog attack figures, Royal Mail said it was welcoming an independent report calling for new legislation with tougher legal sanctions against owners of dogs which attack postal workers.

That is because the national figures show that more than 3,000 postmen and women were injured by dogs between April 2011 and 2012.

In the North West, Preston tops the table with 49 postal workers attacked during the year.

The current law on dog attacks gives limited action to victims when they occur on private land.

The inquiry, led by former High Court Judge Sir Gordon Langley, calls for a new statute removing the private land loophole, enabling criminal sanctions to be taken against the owners of dogs which attack people, wherever it may be.