POST chiefs have revealed there has been a 64 per cent increase in dog attacks on postmen and women in the town in the last year.

Royal Mail figures found 18 employees were bitten over the last 12 months from April 2014 in WA postcodes and hopes this week’s ‘Dog awareness week’ will help highlight the need for ‘responsible dog ownership’.

Owners are being urged to keep their dogs out of the way when the postman calls to prevent incidents and warned MPs, councillors and other campaigners are also at risk from dog attacks when out canvassing and leafleting.

Tony Baxter, delivery director, 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 WA postcode area to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature.”