Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week ‘A Reminder Of Need To Support Victims’

Legal Experts Call For Further Law Changes


Lawyers who specialise in helping dog attack victims gain justice in relation to the physical and psychological injuries they have suffered have called on the Government to do more to help people affected by such problems, as Royal Mail’s latest Dog Awareness Week gets underway.

The initiative, organised in partnership with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is being held across this week to highlight to dog owners the potential issues which animals can cause for postmen and women, with more than 3,300 dog attacks on postal staff recorded last year alone.

A key part of the campaign is to also ensure dog owners are now aware that, following a change in the law introduced earlier this year, it is now a criminal offence for a dog to attack someone on private property.

The launch of the initiative has been welcomed by legal experts at Irwin Mitchell who represent victims who have suffered serious physical and psychological injuries as a result of dog attacks, helping them to gain access to vital funds to support their ongoing recovery.

Katrina Elsey, a legal representative at Irwin Mitchell who specialises in helping dog attack victims, said: “Dog attacks have a huge impact on so many lives and while postal workers are arguably most at risk of harm, we see numerous cases when people from all walks of life and of all ages have been injured due to dangerous dogs.

“Such incidents cause more than just physical harm too, with lasting psychological damage also being a significant factor in injuries. Through our experience, we have seen how incredibly difficult it can be for victims to come to terms with the latter, with it often affecting people for the rest of their lives.

“The changes to the law introduced as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act, particularly the closure of the loophole regarding prosecutions for attacks on private property, were an important step forward. However, we remain convinced that there is much more to be done to ensure that dog attack victims are always able to get the redress they deserve.

“Throughout that legislation’s passage through Parliament, we urged that MPs should consider the introduction of compulsory licensing and insurance for dog owners.

“We continue to feel that such a step would be reasonable and would ensure that the owners of dangerous dogs involved in attacks can be identified, as well as that victims affected can get financial redress which will help them access rehabilitation and support services.

“This is an incredibly important issue, as we have seen several cases when the fact that dog owners have not had financial assets or insurance has meant that victims have been left unable to get any form of justice in relation to the attacks they have endured.

“With this week drawing vital attention to this subject, it is crucial that serious consideration is given to putting victims first and authorities consider how legislation can be changed for the better.”