Press releases

New study reveals simple personal safety mistakes are putting people at risk in and around their homes.

10 October 2011

Twenty-five years after Suzy Lamplugh disappeared, a new study by the charity set up in her name to raise awareness of personal safety, has highlighted a worryingly lax attitude in many of us towards personal safety in and around the home and a lack of awareness of the threat brought by social media.

The study released by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Legal & General to mark National Personal Safety Day, Monday 10 October, shows that despite 95% of us believing that we're more safety conscious now than we were 25 years ago, three quarters of us, 75%, are still risking our safety with age old personal security mistakes, such as opening the door to strangers.

Nearly 60% of people surveyed admitted that they allow delivery personnel into their home without checking their ID, with 21% of women admitting they were more likely to do so, compared to 16% of men*. 60% of respondents don't have their keys ready when they get to the door whilst only a fifth have a home alarm system that they use.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust's Director, Linda Craig, says "We know it's common sense to take certain precautions. However common sense is not always common practice. This study shows that too many of us are still taking the same old risks that we have always taken. It's a dangerous assumption to make that we can continue to take these risks with impunity because nothing has happened so far.

In addition, there ís now the threat to our personal safety from new technology and social media sites such as Facebook which the Trust and Legal & General are particularly concerned about. The danger seems to be especially high for those aged 18-34 who are the biggest users of social media.**"

The study shows that almost a fifth of people in that age group have announced on Facebook or Twitter that they are going away and leaving their house empty; while one in ten have posted that they are home alone. In addition, one in ten people aged 16-24, said that they have even updated their status to tell people they are returning home to an empty house.

Craig continues:"Many Facebook and Twitter users are blissfully unaware of the possible danger they could put themselves in by announcing online that they are home alone. It's vital that they learn to consider the safety aspects of the information they post online."

Steve Bryan, for Legal & General's general insurance business, said "The Trust's On the Homefront campaign is so valuable in highlighting the importance of being alert in or near your home and keeping your home secure. Legal & General is delighted to support Suzy Lamplugh Trustís National Personal Safety Day for a second year, to raise awareness of the personal safety risks we face, in and around our homes.

We conducted our second Digital Criminal research study in 2010***, reviewing the dangers of social networking sites, which worryingly highlighted the naivety of some people in sharing personal information that could put them, and their homes at risk. So we fully support the National Personal Safety Day as it helps increase greater awareness of the risks some people are still taking."

National Personal Safety Day

The aim of this year ís National Personal Safety Day, which is organised by Suzy Lamplugh Trust and sponsored by Legal & General, is to highlight some simple, practical tips people can use to improve their personal safety - and the safety of their loved ones - in and around their home. These include:

  • Avoid broadcasting,whether online or in the pub/at work/in the gym, that you live alone or will be alone in the house at a specific time.
  • Don't let someone you don't know into your house without checking their identification thoroughly.
  • Never let someone into your house because you feel it rude not to.
  • Have your keys ready in your hand when you reach your door so that you are not left fumbling about in your bag or pockets on your doorstep.

National Personal Safety Day is reaching out to more and more people each year. Over 300 organisations across the country are supporting the campaign this year by giving out the campaign leaflets in their local communities; holding safety surgeries in shopping centres, libraries and community centres and giving safety talks in schools. These organisations include 111 police teams in 45 police authorities and 28 local councils. The rest include Neighbourhood Watch teams, schools, colleges, other charities and companies across the UK.

For further information about the day and personal safety tips, go to


Enquiries to

Jo Walker
t: 020 7091 0014
m: 07747 611308

Notes to editors

* The research for The Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Legal & General was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 02/09/2011 and 06/09/2011 of 1114 UK representative adults. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).
Please contact Jo Walker, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, for a full copy of the survey report. More information about National Personal Safety Day and the On the Homefront campaign can be found at

** Independent research commissioned by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) shows that those aged 18-34 are the most frequent users of social media, logging on before they go to bed, when they wake up, at meal times and also are more likely than any other age group to log in on their mobile while on the go. (Lightspeed Research. UK Data)

*** The research for Legal & Generalís Digital Criminal 2 Report was conducted by Opinion Matters,, between 9 September and 17 September, 2010. A total of 2,092 regular social networking users (defined as using a social networking application at least once a week) were polled across the UK. The Digital Criminal 2 Report is available at

Suzy Lamplugh Trust, a registered charity, is the leading charity for personal safety. The Trust works to raise awareness of the importance of personal safety in order to help people to avoid violence and aggression and live safer, more confident lives.

The Trust works alongside government, the police, the educational establishment, public bodies and the business sector to encourage safety wherever people may be at risk - in the home, at work, in public and in schools and colleges, on public transport and when travelling at home or abroad.

The Legal & General Group, established in 1836, is one of the UK ís leading financial services providers of life assurance, pensions, investments and general insurance plans.

In 2010, Legal & General's general insurance business increasingly campaigned about the issue of safer homes in the media and with consumers, highlighting trends that are putting consumers at risk. For example, the growing popularity of social media has meant that consumers are often relaxed about providing personal information, putting them more at risk of burglary than ever before. Legal & General's Digital Criminal 2 Report confirmed that a combination of new location ba