The father of Suzy Lamplugh is urging more employees to prioritise the personal safety of their staff members.
Violence and aggression in the workplace and personal safety of young people inspired Paul and Diana to set up Trust in Suzy’s name: Credit: Bill Knight
Speaking at the 30th anniversary event of the charity Trust last Thursday, 28th July, Paul Lamplugh 85, said personal safety at work was just as important now than it was when his daughter disappeared 30 years ago.
“Employers have a responsibility for safety of all staff especially those who work on their own or go out on their own.”
Recalling how much his daughter enjoying living life to the fullest, he said: “She was a lovely girl and enormously positive and would put her hand to any worthwhile cause.
“I remember a conversation in the kitchen between Suzy and her mother. Diana asked: ‘Aren’t you overdoing things?’ Suzy replied: “Hang on mum life is for living you have to get on with it.’
“This is the base of what we are doing [with the Trust]. We insist on people to get out and enjoy life. However, no one taught Suzy how to do it safely.”
Suzy Lamplugh, who was working as an estate agent in Fulham when she disappeared in 1986
On 28th July 1986, Suzy Lamplugh, a 25 year old estate agent, disappeared in broad daylight, in the middle of the day, while showing a client around a house in Fulham.
New to her estate agent job, Suzy had written in her diary on 28th July that she was meeting a “Mr Kipper.”
Despite huge media coverage and police activity, Suzy’s body was never found and was officially declared dead in 1994.
In her late mother Diana’s words, it was “as though she has been erased by a rubber.”
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was launched shortly afterwards and over the past 30 years has sought to keep people safe from violence and aggression within the workplace.
Milestones achieved by the charity include: campaigning for private hire vehicle licensing in London, being instrumental in bringing about the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which dealt with stalkers, producing an award winning video about safe independence for young people and setting up the National Stalking Helpline.
This was the world’s first specialist service dedicated to supporting victims of stalking. The Trust has also delivered personal safety training to over 50,000 people mostly in “frontline” jobs, from estate agents to gas meter readers, who come into direct contact with clients.
Latest figures from 2014/15 show that 142 people were killed at work and 76,000 injuries to employees were reported.
Mental health issues including stress, anxiety and depression, gave rise to the most working days lost and the most common physical or psychosocial risk cited by two thirds of workplaces was ‘dealing with difficult customers, patients and pupils.’
The Trust continues to work to improve safety for all workers through education, support and campaigning and have launched a Right to be Safe appeal which aims to help young people to lead safer lives.
In 2002, police named the convicted murderer and rapist John Cannan, who is serving three life sentences for separate offences, as their number one suspect.
Due to insufficient evidence, Cannan has not been prosecuted and has denied any involvement.
Mr Lamplugh added: “Those words of hers – ‘life is for living’ – are the foundation of the words for the trust.
“We do believe that it is important to get on with life but we also believe that it’s important to do so safely from aggression and violence.”