More than 100 homes in an Aberdeen high-rise have been declared a no-go zone by Royal Mail after posties said they were scared of intimidating dogs in the building.
Mail addressed to people living in Thistle Court, including Covid vaccination letters, is being diverted from the city-centre flats due to concerns over the safety of delivery staff.
And police are now offering “suitable advice” on how to proceed.
Royal Mail today confirmed deliveries had been suspended due to staff “being intimidated by two dogs” in the 126-flat block – while promising to seek prosecution of the pet owners in court if appropriate.
“We are currently working with the council and police to resolve the issue,” a spokeswoman said.
“Royal Mail treats any risk of dog attacks on our postmen and women very seriously, and our first priority as an employer is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people who provide a valuable service to our customers.
“It is very distressing when one of our people is attacked or worried by a dog while carrying out their job.”
But some residents said they knew nothing about the dogs.
They said they only learned of the issue when Royal Mail put up notices declaring deliveries were to be diverted to the Post Office at the WHS Smith in Union Street.
Others, however, complained about hearing barking in the early hours of the morning.
Royal Mail halting Thistle Court deliveries: ‘Not great at all while people await Covid vaccine letters’
One man – who did not want to be named – told us: “I’ve seen an increase in dogs in the block in the past six months – people buying pets during lockdown.
“The stairs and the foyer are in some state just now as there is a lot of dog mess, which is horrible.
“You can hear the dogs late at night as well.
“This is not great at all while people are awaiting their Covid vaccination letters.
“There are a lot of older people in the block, many who are not so good on their feet and can’t afford to go down to the Post Office every day on the off chance there might be mail waiting for them.”
A spokeswoman said the dogs in question belonged to someone visiting Thistle Court, and that the local authority had reported it to police on Thursday.
Council assertion the ‘intimidating’ dogs do not live in Thistle Court challenged
However, another man from the block, who also wished to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, disputed that the problem animals were only visiting.
He said one of them had been there since it was a puppy.
He described them as “big, hyper, beasts” that look like “some kind of pit bull”.
It is understood talks between the council and Royal Mail have proven productive. It is expected mail deliveries could be reinstated by the end of the week now the matter has been raised with police.
The council spokeswoman added: “We have been in regular communication with Royal Mail regarding this matter to try and get services reinstated.”
‘We cannot have folk waiting for their second jab trailing about the city’ – councillor
He told us: “It is ridiculous for people not to get their mail when they are waiting for Covid jab letters, when this has only come to our attention in the last couple of days.
“This is a situation which needs to be sorted out right away. We cannot be having folk waiting for their second jab trailing about the city.
“Something serious must have happened, either in person or through the letterbox. It is negligence on the part of Royal Mail not to report it to police, which you would think is just common sense.
“A resident told me they heard the dogs all the time and it got louder at night when the owner’s pals visited out on the balcony.
“But I get the feeling folk are terrified to speak out, they seem scared.
“There is one great big dog living there, and two pit bull types that arrive at night with visitors, from what I am told.
“Officers have said no one had been in touch and that’s no wonder; they can’t get through on the phones.
“People are furious and quite rightly; they are finding and having to clean up dog excrement and urine every day on the back stairs and the main lobby as well.”
In 2018, Royal Mail suspended deliveries to Dundonnie Street in Boddam after a dog attack left a postie with a gash on her leg.
Last year, post to Osprey Heights in Inverurie was halted over a row about anti-burglar letterboxes, which Royal Mail argued were leaving staff with cut fingers and grazed knuckles.