ROYAL Mail is urging Bournemouth residents to take responsibility for their pets in a bid to reduce the number of dog attacks on postmen.

The latest statistics released by the firm show there were 25 recorded dog attacks on postmen and in the BH postcode area between April 2013 and April 2014.

As part of its annual Dog Awareness Week campaign, the company is appealing to dog owners to take precautions to reduce the number of attacks on its staff.

Royal Mail delivery director Shiona Rolfe said: “We know that most dogs are not inherently dangerous, however, even the most placid animal can be prone to attack if it feels its territory is being threatened.

“We appeal to dog owners in the area to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature.

“It can also be simple things that help – for example just making sure the dog is kept inside when the postman calls.”

The latest statistics show there was a four per cent decrease in the number of recorded dog attacks in the Bournemouth area last year, however the firm says more still needs to be done to address the problem.

Ms Rolfe said: “Last year there were still too many incidents in the BH postcode area and we need to reduce this number further as even one dog attack on our people is one too many.”

During the week-long campaign, which runs until July 4, Royal Mail is urging dog owners to take measures to protect postmen and women.

They include ensuring the dog is out of the way when the postman arrives, giving the animal food or a toy to keep it occupied when the post is being delivered and installing a wire let receptacle or a mailbox on the edge of the property.