Following the horrific news of Sarah Everard’s disappearance and murder last week the issue of female safety and the fundamental right to ‘feel safe’ whether at home or out in public remains a serious concern for LSS. We believe every woman deserves the right to leave their home without the potential threat of attack, abduction or rape weighing over them.
Sarah’s kidnap and murder has brought female safety to the forefront of people’s minds over the last week and whilst we would all like to accept the high-profile story as a one-off, the unfortunate truth is thousands of innocent women of all ages are attacked, raped, abducted and even murdered, each year.
Whilst we believe the problem is very much a societal problem, highlighting the need for better education on the matter and much stricter laws/punishments, we have put together a list of things to do if you think you’re being followed by someone – whether you’re in the car or on foot:
Stay Alert – It’s easy to go into ‘auto-pilot’ when we are carrying out a common journey. Whether it’s taking the kids to school or travelling to and from work, the journeys we take most frequently can become second nature to us, making us liable to ‘switch off’. Try to stay alert during even the most frequent of journeys regardless of familiarity.
Stay calm – If you suspect you may be being following, try to stay calm. Whilst it would be natural to panic it can prevent you from thinking clearly and assessing your potential options.
Take a safe detour – If you feel someone is following you, try taking a quick detour. Take a wrong turn onto another familiar road and loop back again. For example, if you can take a left, followed by 2 more left turns you should end up back onto the same road you started on. Alternatively take a slightly different route home but one you’re still familiar with. One person making a ‘wrong-turn’ is possible but two people making the same ‘wrong-turn’ could validate your concerns.
Go where people are – Where possible, always try to stick to a busy road where there is frequent traffic or fellow pedestrians. If your walk takes you through a more secluded road, park or area see if there’s a busier route you can take even if it adds a couple of minutes onto your journey. Check out Google Maps for your more frequent journeys and see if there’s a busy route you could take in future.
Be Seen, Be Heard – Always try to stick to well lit areas and if possible, areas you know have a strong CCTV presence. Stick to the side of the road with more houses. If you need to yell or shout to get attention it’s better to be closer to peoples homes to catch their attention.
Take out your phone – Whether texting, calling or just browsing the internet, using your phone could dramatically reduce the risk of being attacked or abducted. To someone that may be following you, the possibility that you have already raised your concerns with someone on the other end of the phone will likely deter them from carrying out whatever heinous act they may have had in mind. If you’re not certain someone is following you and unsure who to call or who to text pretending to have a phone call and announcing that you’re ‘nearly home’ could also help. Calling a friend or relative could help you feel that much safer though and also let them know of your whereabouts.
Vary your pace – If you’re trying to determine if someone is or isn’t following you, try and vary your pace slightly without appearing erratic. Speeding up a little bit without running could put valuable distance between you and the suspect and like wise, slowing down a little could allow them time to overtake and carry on ahead. It’s better to have them in front of you, in view, than behind you and out of your line of vision. Always consider changing the side of the road you’re walking on. If someone continues to mimic your movements or walking speed then you could have a good cause for alarm.
Call the Police – If you’re genuinely concerned that someone is following you don’t take any risks – call the police immediately on 999, stay as calm as possible and follow the instructions the operator provides you. Make sure you note any street names as you walk to help the operator and any assisting police unit identify your location.
Carry an attack alarm – If you do come under attack, a panic or attack alarm can be a useful last line of defense. The small, inexpensive, key-ring held devices emit a loud, high pitch noise which can be heard up to half a kilometer away. The noise could be enough to deter the attacker and alert others in the area of a potential attack. LSS will be stocking these in the following weeks. Please email us to register your interest.
Call your LSS patrol team – Our residential security patrols can be tailored to include our exclusive Meet & Greet service. Whether you feel you’re being followed or not, our meet and greet service provides peace of mind that no body is following you to your home. You can arrange an exact time and place that our mobile patrol team meet you and escort you to your front door, also ensuring that your property perimeter is safe and free from trespassers.
If any of our clients feel unsafe or uneasy walking to or from home, we encourage them to consider the advice listed above but also carry your local patrol team number in your phones contact list. Although it is not an official service we offer, our clients security and welfare is always our sole priority so if you are ever in need of assistance outside the home whether it be walking back from the nearest train station or nipping to the shops at night, always know you can contact your local patrol unit who will happily provide assistance or escort you back home safely.
Our staff are fully vetted and each carry a valid SIA license. The SIA license ensures that staff members are fully qualified for their relevant security roles, clear of criminal record and have each been properly trained to the highest industry standards. Our staff will always have their SIA license number on display whilst on duty. At LSS London we aim to better educate our staff on wider societal issues, proactively providing training and support to deal with certain situations and scenarios. Our information sharing agreement with local police forces keeps our patrol teams up to date with local concerns, suspects, crimes and incidents.
Whilst this article does not address the wider societal problem we have with typically, male attackers, we hope it may provide some useful advice that may help in such a situation. LSS will continue to educate its employees on such matters and continue to work with our patrolled communities towards building a safer, more equal society.
Whilst we hope none of our clients or readers have to experience fear of attack, please do contact us directly if you have any concerns about any of the issues raised.