Personal Safety

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Personal Safety Introduction

Personal Safety is something you may rarely think about while you are working, and you may not consider you are particularly at risk whilst carrying out the day to day activities as an agent. Fortunately attacks are rare: in particular violent crimes by strangers in public places account for a very small part of recorded crime.

However, you are dealing with people on the sensitive issue of their homes. As an agent, you may well work alone, you may carry money when collecting rents and indeed you may encounter tenants or neighbours under the influence of drink and drugs. All these factors could increase your chances of experiencing some form of aggression or other threats to your safety.

Many potential risks can be reduced by taking a few sensible precautions. Many are common sense, and may be things you already do. But there may be some things you haven’t considered.

Plan in advance how you might react in different situations before you are in them. Is it sensible to risk injury in a situation, or would it be wiser give an attacker what they want, to avoid being hurt? There may not be time for lots of thought if there is the potential for violence.

Another important consideration is how you could prevent a confrontational situation turning into violent one. How you speak to people and your actions towards them will affect how they act towards you. Consider that some types of behaviour could make a situation worse. Try find out WHY someone is angry – much anger is rooted in frustration, fear or confusion – and what you can do to calm them down.

Learning to control your own tension can be a very useful skill, as well as recognising the signs of someone else becoming aggressive or violent.

Quick Tips

Here are some quick tips:

  • Try to avoid quiet or badly lit areas, such as alleyways or isolated car parks. You will be safest in bright, well lit and busy areas.
  • Try to look and act confident, look as if you know where you are going.
  • It may be wise to keep your valuables in different places, bag, coat pocket, trouser pocket etc, rather than all in one bag.
  • If someone tries to take something from you, it may just be better to let them take it rather than to get into a confrontation and risk injury.
  • Shouting ‘call the police’ rather than ‘help’ may attract more attention, and gives instruction.
  • If you use a wheelchair, keep your things beside you rather than at the back of the chair.
  • Try not to draw attention to any valuables you are carrying, including your mobile.
  • If collecting cash, try not to visit the same places at the same time on a regular basis.
  • When out walking or jogging, consider not listening to a personal stereo through headphones, so you can stay more alert to your surroundings.
  • If working alone, let someone know details such as where you are going or who you are meeting as well as when you should be finished.
  • Trust your instincts, get away immediately if you feel threatened or uncomfortable
  • Keep your car in good condition and try not to run out of petrol.
  • Keep doors locked when driving and keep bags, phones and other valuables out of sight.

Practical Advice

Practical Advice

Suzy Lamplugh Trust is a great resource for personal safety strategies and information. The Trust is a national charity but a large part of their work is based around providing training and resources to organisations and individuals. They draw on practical experience and offer solutions to help people avoid violence and aggression. They provide informative guidance sheets with simple steps you can take to minimize risks. They are free to download from their website, see Additional Resources.

Of particular interest may be:

Personal Safety Alone in the Workplace
Personal Safety and Cash Handling
Personal Safety on Foot
Tension Control: Quick Tips
Personal Alarms – how do I chose one
The Key to Safety – Personal Safety whilst Driving

The following may be of particular interest to your tenants:

Sharing a flat or house
Bogus Callers
Personal Safety in and around the house


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