July 22 2018, 12:01am, The Sunday Times Royal Mail has turned to virtual reality to help protect staff from dogs after more than 2,200 attacks on postmen and women in the past year. There were an average of 44 attacks a week in the year to May, leaving some posties with “permanent and life-changing” injuries.

To help staff deal with unruly hounds, Royal Mail will introduce a “dog awareness” course in September. Students will wear a headset that presents them with a street in Plymouth where they must give a rookie postwoman advice.

Choose wrong and the postwoman can get bitten. Tips include looking for the signs that indicate a dog is present and not taking at face value any assurances that a dog is harmless.

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