Personal Safety - Live Life Safe Search Consultancy and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust The promotion of personal safety in the workplace is something that Search takes very seriously - not only for our own employees but also for our many temporary employees. Thankfully the attacks that make the headlines are relatively rare so it is not our intention to cause you alarm. However, we hope that this factsheet will be useful in reminding you of the simple steps that we can all take to ensure our safety not only in the workplace but in all situations. Why Suzy Lamplugh Trust was set up You would have to be a certain age to remember the story that resulted in the launch of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust so here’s a bit of background. In 1986 Suzy Lamplugh, a 25 year old estate agent disappeared after she went to meet an unknown client. So far her body has not been found. However, she has been presumed murdered and legally declared dead. Her parents, Paul and Diana Lamplugh, believed that Suzy, like most people at that time - and even now - was simply unaware of the possible dangers that individuals can face in society. Paul and Diana founded the Trust to highlight the risks people face and to offer advice, action and support to minimise those risks. Personal Safety on Foot By learning to recognise potential dangers you can usually avoid them. • • • • • • • • • • Avoid danger spots like quiet or badly lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement if the street is deserted. If you do have to pass danger spots, think about what you would do if you felt threatened. The best idea is to head for a public place where you know there will be other people. If you are at all worried, try and walk with a friend or stay near a group of people. Avoid passing stationary cars with their engines running and people sitting in them. Try to keep both hands free and don’t walk with your hands in your pockets. Always take the route you know best, try to use well lit, busy streets and walk facing oncoming traffic to avoid curb crawlers. Keep your mind on your surroundings - remember if you are wearing an iPod you will not hear trouble approaching. It is a good idea to have a mobile phone with you. Be careful when using cashpoint machines. Make sure nobody is hovering nearby and don’t count your money in the middle of the street. If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and take action. As confidently as you can, cross the road, turn and look to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, keep moving. Make for a busy area and tell people what is happening. If necessary, call the police. If a vehicle pulls up suddenly alongside you, turn and walk in the other direction - you can turn much faster than a car. Beware of someone who warns you of the danger of walking alone and then offers to accompany you. This is a ploy some attackers have been known to use. Under no circumstances accept a lift with a stranger or someone you don’t know very well. Try not to keep all your valuables in one place. Instead place valuables such as wallets in an inside pocket or use a money belt. One of the safest ways to carry things is in a small bag slung across your body under a jacket. Ensure it sits close to your body. • • • • • Personal Safety & Parking Your Car • • • Avoid using poorly lit car parks. Whenever possible, choose a manned car park and park as close as you can to the attendant. Reverse into the space. Hide away all valuables and obvious possessions. Make sure the interior light is working. Shut all windows. Lock all doors. Note exactly where you have parked your car. (continued overleaf) • • • • If you collect a ticket on entering the car park, do not leave it in the car, as this will make it easier for a thief to steal your vehicle. When returning to your car, have your keys ready so that you can get in quickly. Before entering scan the back seat to check no-one has climbed in. Once you are in the car lock the doors immediately and drive off quickly. Lock your doors every time you leave your car. Personal Safety when Driving Setting off • • • Keep anything of value, such as bags or mobile phones out of sight - they make easy pickings for a snatch thief in stop-go traffic, especially if left on the front passenger seat. Lock the doors whenever you are in the car. If you are in an accident, windows can easily be broken to get you out. You are much safer driving along with the doors locked. Keep windows closed in busy areas and use the sun roof or fan for ventilation. Feeling threatened while driving? It is possible that while driving you may feel threatened. Modern phenomena such as road rage and car jacking, while high profile in the media, are thankfully still rare. However, these tips may help to avoid the more dangerous consequences of these potential on-the-road threats: • If you think you are being followed you may find yourself clutching the wheel and finding it difficult to breathe. Breathe out slowly, release the tension in your hands, arms and shoulders. Hold the wheel hard again and once more let go and sigh. As you relax, you can begin to think clearly. Keep driving until you come to a busy place such as a police, fire or ambulance station or a pub or garage forecourt. If a car pulls up alongside you and the occupants try to attract your attention, ignore them and don’t make eye contact. If you see an accident or someone tries to flag you down, ask yourself if it is genuine and if you could really help - it might be best to drive on to the nearest phone or police station. • • • If another driver is causing you concern, a mobile phone, or even a toy phone, is an excellent way to put off unwanted attention. Phone, or pretend to phone the police, and make an obvious note of the registration number of the car. There is a good chance they will stop pestering you if they think they will get caught. • If a car pulls in front of you and forces you to stop, never switch off the engine. Stay calm and ensure all your doors and windows are locked. If the driver leaves his car to approach you, reverse as far as you can while continually sounding the horn and activating your hazard lights. If someone tries to force down a window, hit their hand with anything available and drive off carefully. • What happens if I break down? • • Pull as far off the road as you can and switch on your hazard lights. Use your mobile phone, or walk to the nearest phone and call your breakdown organisation or the police. Remember to PLAN Prepare • Look confident • Avoid risk• Never assume it won’t happen to you For more information go to www.suzylamplugh.org Alternatively, visit our website www.searchconsultancy.co.uk and click on the Help & Advice section where you will find a copy of this leaflet if you wish to forward it to friends or colleagues.
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