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Personal Safety Blog

3 October 2016
 October 3, 2016
stalker

The Unsettling Truth About Stalking

What is Stalking?

Defining ‘stalking’ is often tricky because a stalker will use multiple methods to harass their victim. According to the National Stalking Helpline, stalking consists of any type of unwanted behaviour, such as regularly sending gifts/flowers, making malicious/unwanted communication, damaging property and physical or sexual assault. If the behaviour is persistent and causing fear and anxiety for the victim, then it is classed as stalking and must be stopped.
The following points reveal worrying truths about stalking and the effect it can have on victims:

Stalking is not limited to a delusional fan lurking in the shadow of a celebrity. In fact, 40% of people who contact a stalking helpline are being stalked by ex-partners and a further third are already acquainted with their stalker, be it a friend or somebody they’ve previously dated.
Anybody can become a victim of stalking. Dr Lorraine Sheridan and the Network for Surviving Stalking surveyed 2,292 stalking victims with an age range of 10 to 73. This included male and female victims, spread across the

5 September 2016
 September 5, 2016
Prison

Health and Safety Failings Can Lead to Imprisonment

According to UK laws, severe failings of health and safety within organisations aren’t only punishable by fines as highlighted this week after a company director was jailed for 12 months following the death of an employee.

Company director Kenneth Thelwall, from Enfield, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment following the death of one of his employees resulting from the overturn of a spider lift during loading. This fatality follows the guilty plea from Mr Thelwall over a separate incident in 2010 when employee Bernard Rowson was crushed to death in a metal gate.

His firm, Thorn Warehousing Ltd was charged under the Health and Safety at Work Act and subsequently fined £166,000 plus court costs. Unsurprisingly, the company is currently in administration.

However, those in charge of the welfare of employee safety, including the safeguarding of lone workers regardless if they’re ‘on site’ are liable to face custodial sentences – consequently having severe, life changing impact on

26 August 2016
 August 26, 2016
ambu

A 46% Rise in Attacks on Paramedics

The emergency services – designed to be there for us in our hour of need, all too often fall victim to abuse and attacks from the people they are trying to help. The culprits, in most cases, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to data from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB), there were 98 reported attacks on paramedics in 2011-12. Just 3 years on, this figure jumped to 126 reported attacks for 2014-15, and rose again last year to a staggering 184.

Although these figures are alarming, it is likely they take in to account only a proportion of the incidents that take place. Paramedics feel dissuaded to report attacks as any pending investigations take them away from performing their duties.

SECAMB Security Manager, Adam Graham said current safety measures included; CCTV, risk assessments and conflict resolution training, but has called for a government-led task force to tackle the problem more thoroughly.

In an example of the violence faced by our ambulance service, paramedic Gemma Fitzgerald suffered a broken jaw whilst trying to help

28 July 2016
 July 28, 2016
Suzy lamplugh

Suzy Lamplugh –  A 30 Year Legacy

Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the tragic disappearance of Estate Agent Suzy Lamplugh, who has remained missing ever since.

Suzy, just 25 years old, disappeared on 28th July 1986 whilst out meeting a prospective client in Fulham, South West London. Despite years of leads and investigations, Miss Lamplugh’s body was never found and in 1994, she was officially declared dead, presumably murdered.

It was lunchtime when Suzy left her office to meet ‘Mr Kipper’ who was interested in a property – 37 Shorrolds Road, Fulham – as listed on her employer’s books. But by the end of the working day, when Suzy hadn’t returned, worried colleagues called home to find out her whereabouts. Later that evening, her car was found abandoned, unlocked but no trace of Suzy herself.

It was a crime that shocked the nation. How could a young, professional woman just disappear in a vibrant and busy London suburb in broad daylight? It put into question the safety of those working alone, and not just at night or in secluded or troublesome locations.

Suzy’s legacy

21 July 2016
 July 21, 2016
law

North London Construction firm fined £550,000 under Corporate Manslaughter Sentencing

The Corporate Manslaughter Act clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies including large organisations where serious failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality. Under new sentencing guidelines, major companies convicted of Corporate Manslaughter can face fines of up to £20M. Judges will impose fines in relation to the size of the convicted organisation.

In the case of Monavon Construction, a fine of £550,000 was imposed for two counts of Corporate Manslaughter and a breach of their duty to non-employees – the first sentencing since the new guidelines were introduced in February 2016. The organisation pleaded guilty after two men fell to their deaths into a 3.7 metre light well, having only perimeter edge protection, as opposed to fixed metal railings.

Sean Elson of Pinsent Masons law firm explained, “For a much larger company with a turnover exceeding £50M, the guidelines would likely have resulted in multi-million pound fines – possibly 10 times higher than the fine imposed in this case.”

The new guidelines were designed to ensure convicted companies were sentenced in accordance to

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