CALLS for dangerous dogs to be kept under control have been backed by an Oxford postman who was the victim of an attack.

Clive Homer, 45, who lives in Greater Leys, was attacked by a dog as he delivered mail in Sandford earlier this month.

The Royal Mail revealed that 51 postmen and women were attacked by dogs across the OX postcode area between April last year and March this year.

The highest number of incidents were in the OX7 postcode area, which covers Chipping Norton, the Wychwoods and Charlbury, with eight attacks. In contrast there was just one incident each in Witney, OX28, and Wantage, OX12. Overall, there were fewer attacks than in the previous 12 months, when postal staff reported 56 incidents in Oxfordshire. Despite the reduction, Royal Mail wants to stamp out such incidents altogether. Mr Homer, a father-of-one, called on owners to keep their dogs under control and described the attack on him.

He said: “It happened about 11.30am. The property was a bungalow and didn’t have any gates or anything like that. I was walking towards the letterbox and out of the corner of my eye I saw the dog.”

Mr Homer had only been on the round for a few months and previous postmen for the area had warned him about the dog, but he had never seen it before.

He said: “The dog edged towards me. It wasn’t barking or anything, and obviously I shouted at it to get back. I had a handful of letters in my hand, and the dog came behind me and just went for me.”

Luckily for Mr Homer, the bite on his thigh did not break the skin, but the trauma will stay with him for a long time.

He said: “It’s not nice, believe me. In some respects I don’t blame the dog – it’s the irresponsible owners. If they know it’s capable of something like that, they should have it under control.

“Can you imagine if it was a kid who got attacked?”

The Royal Mail and the Communication Workers’ Union are urging dog owners in the county to ensure pets are under control.

Royal Mail safety director Senol Ali said money had been spent nationwide on raising awareness and specialist equipment, including 90,000 posting pegs, which are devices used to put post into letterboxes to protect the fingers of postmen and women from bites.

He said: “Our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers.

“Even just being threatened by an unrestrained pet is a frightening situation for our delivery staff and we would appeal to owners to keep their pets under control, especially if they know their pets have a territorial nature.”