Personal Safety Training (Walking– Being Followed)
This is a frightening subject to a lot of people and I have seen many ideas and tools on the internet to help you keep safe, but when you go through some of them they can be a little long winded and go into far too much detail, so therefore it then makes people forget the main points to remember.Before I start on the tips and tools we would recommend, I would strongly point out that if there is even a slight risk to you or your organisation then you should look into this matter urgently. I and the team have worked with various organisations on this subject, and we have found that enabling the training to assist in building people’s confidence is one our top priorities.
Again if you are being followed on foot the risk is usually the same that the person is trying to scare you more than assault you; however what we will look at are another few tips to consider helping you prevent and deter the possibility of this happening to you.
If you are being followed:
Stay Calm: It is very important that you do not show fear, as many attackers can use this to build on their own confidence. Only stick to areas that you know and do not stray off your route in an attempt to lose the follower as you could be playing into their hands. Keep a steady pace to prevent having an accident. Never enter a public toilet or phone box as there is usually only one way in and out.
Safe Zones: We always encourage people to have designated safe zones to go to in the event of them being concerned; now this can be a client, resident you know or even a shop you can go to where you can think clearly and possibly call for assistance. As previously discussed remember to select a person who will assist you rationally and not emotionally panic.
Speed Dial: If you are regularly in an area why not consider placing on your speed dial 9 in your mobile phone the direct line to your local PSNI station as this will enable you to speak to someone quicker than if you rang 999. No one will ever accuse you of over reacting if you took the precaution of alerting the PSNI. Only fools take chances.
Plan: If you feel concerned or not happy with the route or routine you are walking, why not have a friends or relative check in’s. Example: Text them when you are leaving and when you get to your destination with a time line, some people think this is being over concerned but not doing it and an accident or incident does happen will concern them more.
Carrying: Take note of what you have on show when walking, does it attract attention and are you clearly concentrating on what you are doing? I don’t want to highlight what I seen yesterday but when walking down Tomb Street in Belfast (Beside Post Office) at 6pm (very quiet) a woman in front of me was walking and talking on a new Iphone4 with her laptop bag open with what did look like a new laptop!
Above are small tips that are there to help you think, but training in all the areas we have looked at this week are paramount and if you think we can help, please don’t hesitate to ask as we are here to prevent, deter and reduce the subject of workplace violence.
Blog by Will Holland