Suzy Lamplugh: 30 years on… live life safe

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Suzy Lamplugh: 30 years on… live life safe previous nextAgencies & PeopleSuzy Lamplugh: 30 years on… live life safeSafety may be common sense but it is not always common practiceSheila Manchester5th October 201601,367 ViewsHOT TOPIC This story is being discussed in the forum nowThe Negotiator says:Do we do enough to protect our staff?Have your say Viewings are part of the estate agent’s job – but are they safe? Suzy Lamplugh: 30 years on there are still serious concerns about personal safety in the property sector, says Trust.30 years ago a young estate agent called Suzy Lamplugh disappeared while showing a client around a house in Fulham. No trace of her has ever been found.The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was subsequently founded by her parents Diana and Paul following and since then it has pioneered personal safety as a life skill and a public policy priority.National Personal Safety Day, run by the charity, is an annual event aimed at highlighting some of the simple, practical solutions that everyone can use to help minimise personal safety risks. It’s about helping people live safer, more confident lives.New researchTo mark the 30th anniversary of Suzy’s disappearance the trust has carried out research into personal safety issues within the housing sector and is proposing that estate agencies sign up to ‘Suzy’s Code for Personal Safety’ to ensure that their employees are as ‘Safe As Houses’ while at work.According to the English Housing Survey 2014-15, there are 22.5million households in England. Almost everyone will visit a prospective property at some point in their lifetime. Suzy Lamplugh Trust is concerned that everyone who is planning to rent or buy a property, or is working in the housing sector, should feel as ‘Safe as Houses’ when they have to visit a property.Worryingly, the trust found that both employers and consumers remain at risk when buying, selling and managing houses. Research carried out by ComRes in September 2016 on behalf of the charity surveyed 250 estate agents to assess the extent to which employees in this sector feel at risk while at work. One in five said they had conducted a property viewing where they felt unsafe and for female estate agents this was nearly a third.A further seven per cent stated that they had been threatened. Issues of safety concerns included verbal abuse by a client and properties being located in a remote location. Almost half of all estate agents have been made to feel uncomfortable or uneasy by a client whilst on a viewing.One estate agent explains how she felt unsafe when conducting a property viewing on her own, “I was at a viewing and the client locked the door when I had asked him not to. He then continued to ask if I was feeling nervous which unnerved me. He then proceeded to take off his tie. I felt threatened by his behaviour and unsure as to what would happen next”.One in ten estate agents think viewings should be made safer and the same number stated that estate agents themselves should be responsible for ensuring this. Suzy Lamplugh Trust is therefore calling for all estate agencies to sign up to Suzy’s Code for Personal Safety to take steps to minimise personal safety risks for all their employees:Suzy’s Code for Personal SafetyEmployers should implement a buddy system so that colleagues always know each other’s whereabouts and contact details. These should include checking in and out when meeting arriving at and leaving the property, including out of normal office hoursHave a system in place for colleagues to raise the alarm back at the office in case of an emergency while working aloneHave a clear procedure to follow if someone does not return or check in when they were expectedWhere possible arrange for viewers to visit the office before meeting them at the property so that colleagues have also seen themOffer all staff a personal safety alarm and have discreet lone worker devices available.Before conducting a viewing, find out who else will be present in the property (current tenant, contractors etc.) when you visitFinally, make sure all staff are aware of and have access to the personal safety measures available.And when you are going on a viewing alone:Take a charged phoneLet someone know where you are going and who you are meetingPlan your journey by viewing Google maps/streetviewTry to arrange to visit in daytime hoursCarry a personal alarm or discreet lone worker device.Further information and resources: HOT TOPIC This story is being discussed in the forum nowThe Negotiator says:Do we do enough to protect our staff?Have your say Viewings are part of the estate agent’s job – but are they safe?Live Life Safe Suzy Lamplugh estate agents safety October 5, 2016Sheila ManchesterRelated articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more