personal safety

Personal Safety & Lone Working training

Posted in conflict resolution, current affairs, managing violence & aggression, personal safety on January 2nd, 2018 by Chris – Be the first to comment

Catastrophic Consequences of failing to follow health & safety policies/procedures.

Responsible organisations have duty carried out risk assessments and introduce policies and procedures for the safety of their employees and others.

The death of a young adult with autism which occurred in Nottingham and was the subject of criminal prosecution of a care worker highlighted emphasised the importance of employees being risk assessments and the necessary for staff to be familiar with them.

The incident involved a local authority care worker who received a prison sentence for being in breach of section 7 of the Health & Safety at Work act 1974 which imposes the following duty on employees.

An employee may commit an offence if he contravenes the general duties imposed by    ss.7(a) and 7(b) by failing: to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and other persons who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work (s.7(a). See link below relating to the relevant legislation below.

The circumstances: An adult with learning difficulties was taken out by a local authority social services care worker for activities which included water sports. The individual participated in the morning activities but did not want to participate in the afternoon sport.

A care plan was in place to address such issues and the care worker was tasked to simply walk the individual around the lake which took about 45 minutes.

Towards the end of this walk the care worker lost sight of the individual. Dog walkers subsequently found this individual in the lake and he was rushed to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.

The Police, the Health and Safety executive, the Local Authority all carried out an investigation to establish the cause of the death and the findings later presented to the Coroners Court.

The Court findings: The coroner who was a Judge initially concentrated on the organisation responsible for organising the event (Nottingham City Council) and demanded copies of the all the risk assessments, Policies/Procedures and the individuals care plan.

The Judge went through these documents in great detail and sort clarification on numerous issues by the LA’s Health and Safety management.

The care worker was then questioned by the Judge who unlike the LA refused to answer all questioned put to her

The Judge subsequently concluded that the Policies and procedures which had been in place on the day could not be faulted and had these been followed the death of this individual would not have occurred.

The judge recommended that the care worker should be brought before the criminal court and face chargers under the Health & Safety at Work Act.

Normally under criminal law a person is deemed to be innocent until proven guilty however this is not the case under Health & Safety legislation under this legislation a person is guilty unless they can prove their innocence.

By going “No Comment” when questioned by the Judge the defendant had failed to demonstrate a defence.

The care worker was subsequently charged under sec: 7 of the Health & Safety at Work Act and sentenced to four months in prison.

The headlines in the Nottingham evening post read: Jailed for failing to care

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Travel Safe Personal Safety Advice from Brooks Jordan Training

Posted in current affairs, personal safety, street survival tips, Uncategorized on February 4th, 2014 by Chris – 2 Comments

Last time we wrote about staying safe when travelling by car this post we’ll focus on the do’s and don’ts of taking taxis.

Most people will only take a taxi when for some reason they can’t use another form of transport either because it’s not convenient for public transport or having had a drink, driving would be illegal and probably unsafe as well.

So let’s think about the combination of factors which can add to the risk of taking a taxi –

  • You’ve had a drink and so may not be as clear or focussed as you would be when sober
  • It’s dark, it may also be raining and hence passers-by are less likely to observe you, the vehicle you get in to and certainly not the taxi driver.
  • You’re getting in to closed box that can take you pretty much anywhere with a complete stranger.

All of this adds up to a perfect storm of risk for the unprepared or the unwary.
So how can you make taking a taxi safer?

  • The best protection you can have is to travel with friends – remember the old adage ‘safety in numbers’. Not only does this reduce the cost it’s unlikely a lone driver will try anything with a group of you.
  • Speak to your Student Union. Usually they can recommend a cab firm or may have an agreement with a local firm to take student’s home even if they have run out of cash (more on this later).
  • Use the recommended firm and book your taxi well ahead of time. Ask who will be collecting you and give a name to the firm so you know it really is your driver when the cab turns up.
  • Before you get in ask who they have come to collect – check it is your cab.
  • Ask the driver for his details

Get on your phone (or pretend to) and ring someone – your conversation goes like this –

You – ‘Hi Dad, (Dave). Yes I’m just leaving now, yes of course it’s a proper firm – its (give name of firm).

Pause to listen – imagine Dave (or your Dad) asking you for the name of the driver.

You – ‘The driver?’  Turn to the driver.  ‘Sorry it’s my Dad (boyfriend) he wants to know your name and number’.

At this point the driver should give you his name.

You – ‘The driver’s name is Pete and his number is KH54DEY.  Yes I’ll be about 15 minutes.’

Turning to the taxi driver ‘Pete I’m really sorry about that – my Dad (Dave) does the doors and he’s just over protective’.

Now – instead of thinking you’re an easy victim in a locked moving box, your driver thinks there’s someone at your destination expecting you to arrive within 15 minutes and that person has all the details they will need to alert the Police if you don’t turn up at the appointed time.

So you’ve run out of money and don’t have the fare to get home – now what do you do?
Sheffield Hallam Union have a great scheme. With one of their approved firms you can hand over your Student Union card in lieu of payment. The next day the taxi driver takes the card to the Union who pay your fare. You get a message from the Union to come in to collect your card and pay what is owed in return for your card. Maybe your Union has a similar scheme – why not call in and find out.

Want to know more about Personal Safety courses for Students from Brooks Jordan? Speak to us on 01623 407793 or visit our website at for more safety tips or to book training.


Follow Brooks Jordan on Twitter for the next Travel Safe installment on taking public transport.

Travel Safe Advice from Brooks Jordan Training

Posted in personal safety on January 23rd, 2014 by Chris – 2 Comments

Although nights are now getting lighter there are still a few weeks yet before we’re into spring  so with this in mind we thought it a good time to remind readers of ways to maintain their personal safety when out and about.

Plan your journey – when you leave for an evening out think about how you get home again – are you using your own car, a taxi, public transport or will you be walking?

Travelling by Car

While travelling by car is likely to be the safest mode of transport it is not without risk.  Consider the following –

  • Where you park your car is where you will later retrieve it from – try to avoid leaving it in badly lit areas, or next to anything that might provide someone a hiding place.
  • Look out for broken glass on the side of the road – a sure sign that criminals are operating undisturbed – maybe when you get back to your car your windows may have been broken – or worse still someone could be lying in wait for you.
  • When you approach your car observe it from a distance – check that no one is near it – THINK – the person trying to get in to the car next to yours – are they really having problems with their keys or could they be waiting for the sound of your car doors opening so they can jump in beside you?
  • Have your keys ready – if you have central locking/unlocking make sure you only activate the button when you are close to your car and ready to jump in – operate it when you are metres away from your vehicle and you advertise the fact that this is your car and you have the keys.
  • When you get into your car – do you always lock your doors straight away?  You should – and should also drive with your doors locked in slow moving traffic – unlock them when you get out on to the open road when your speed increases.

So you are unfortunate – someone has jumped into the passenger seat – what will you do to get him out and get home safely?  How would you handle this risk?

Follow Brooks Jordan on Twitter for the next Travel Safe instalment on taking taxis.

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Cyber bullying of young people on the rise

Posted in personal safety on August 28th, 2013 by Chris – Be the first to comment

Bullying is no longer something that only happens face to face.  In the past, bullying may have happened at school, in the playground or in local social clubs, now it can happen anywhere.  Due to the increased use of mobile phones, email, social networks and other chat based websites cyber bullying has risen dramatically as targets become more accessible.  Cyber bullying can happen 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

Cyber bullying happens when one or more individuals tease, threaten, harass or embarrass another person through use of technology – often allowing the bully to remain anonymous.  The technology itself is of no danger – rather it is down to the use the technology is put to and often it is other children who partake in these cruel and vindictive acts. Escaping from cyber bullying can be hard due to the 24/7 nature of the internet and victims can be left feeling very isolated, distressed, lonely and vulnerable.

Top Tips for Parents – How to identify if your child is a victim of cyber bullying

You may have noticed that your normally happy vibrant child has become withdrawn and moody but refuses to talk to you about what is bothering them.  Significant increases in messages to their mobile phone may also be an indicator that they are being victimised by cyber bullies. So it is important that you –

  • Talk to your child about responsible online behaviour
  • Let your child know that if anything online bothers them, makes them feel upset or worried they can talk to you about it.
  • It is extremely important to remind your child that once a comment or image is posted or a message sent online you cannot take it back.
  • Teenagers need to consider the impact that anything they do or say on line may have on their future career.


Top Tips for Victims


  • You shouldn’t have to face bullying or cyber bullying alone – talk to someone you know and trust such as a parent, carer or teacher.  They can help you overcome bullying and be there to listen to you as well as report anything serious.
  • It is extremely important to talk things though with someone – it can make you feel less isolated, more confident and put you back in control of the situation.
  • Keep a copy of any abusive messages that you receive and record the send date/time.
  • Keeping records can help the Police investigate if a bully’s activities overstep the line – particularly if the bullying has racial or sexual harassment connotations.
  • Never reply to messages that you receive. It will simply encourage the bullies and result in further upset.


Have your say – should the police commit more resources to investigating cyber bullying or sexual/racial harassment on line or do they already have too much work?

Personal safety tips for students

Posted in personal safety on August 16th, 2013 by Chris – Be the first to comment

With one third of students estimated to become victims of crime during their academic career and 20 per cent of student robberies occurring in the first six weeks of the academic year – what is your University doing to make you safer? 

In recent weeks the media has been splatted with headlines boasting of a reduction in crime in the UK.  Proud crime statistics showed that overall crime has fallen by 5% since 2011 (give or take a per cent or two depending upon which newspaper you read) but even with crime rates dropping – becoming a victim of crime can really take the gloss off student life.  So what is your University doing to make you safer and what can you do to avoid becoming a crime statistic?

Check if your university providing free Street Survival Skills training – some do.   But even if your establishment isn’t offering training – there are still things you can do to make yourself safer.

Check out our five top tips for helping you ‘stay safe and party on’

Get to know your new environment:

  • Get to know where the “No Go” areas are.
  • Ask ‘established’ students where they are and avoid these suburbs especially when alone.

Find out about the crime trends in your new city:

These will vary from city to city across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.  How do you find out about crime trends in your new city?

  • Ask those who’ve been there for a while what they are concerned about;
  • In the UK you can access the website to check crimes in your locality.
  • Observe how the locals dress / behave and copy them  to blend in – do people carry their backpack’s on their backs or, more like a baby carrier, in front of their body?  THINK – why are they doing this?

3.    How secure is your new flat?

Ask your landlord if your flat or block has had any break ins – in the UK they have a duty to disclose this information – if you ask –

  • Check the website and look at the ‘crime map’ to find out what crimes have occurred in your locality – is your street one named on the crime map?  Find out why.
  • Do what you can to make your place more secure by using extra security and get good insurance.
  • Get advice from your local neighbourhood crime team;
  • Make sure windows and doors are closed & locked before you go out.

 4.    Out and about and partying – avoid the risk of getting your drinks spiked by:

Drinking from a bottle rather than a glass – it is harder for someone to drop something into a bottle than a glass.  Better yet get a specially designed stopper that you can insert a straw in to but which closes off the neck of the bottle.

  • Don’t leave your drinks unattended.
  • Plan ahead – make sure someone knows where you are going, who you are meeting and when you expect to return.
  • Go out as a group – come back as a group – look out for your mates.
  • Always plan how you are going to get home and book a taxi before you leave home using a cab firm recommended by your University.

5.       Travel Safety

 If you have a car think carefully about where you will park it and what you leave in it – is it obvious it’s a woman’s car?  You might want to leave a motorbike magazine in the car or something similar to make it less obvious.

  • Think about the risks you face when getting in to a taxi – if you just flag a taxi down in the street who else knows where you are?   THINK – this the perfect place to carry out a crime against you.
  • And after a great night out make sure you have enough money to get home again!

 For more personal safety tips sign up to our newsletter or contact Julie for details of your nearest street survival skills training event.

Tel: 01623 407793 

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With crime rates falling, is personal safety still an issue?

Posted in personal safety on August 9th, 2013 by Chris – Be the first to comment

Incidents of violent crime have dropped dramatically in the UK – so do we still need to be concerned about our Personal Safety?


Following the recent Home Office report, information provided showed that the recorded crime rate has fallen by 38% since 2002, the UK government claim this is down to good policing and comes in spite of staffing reductions of up to 20% across the UK.


Most striking perhaps is the fact that this decline has occurred across so many categories of crime. The only category to show a significant increase is theft from the person/fraud which rose by 8% to 107,471 recorded offences.  It is worth noting that incidents of violent crime have also dropped in the USA and many European countries so this trend is not unique to the UK.


Certainly we know there are factors which can reduce crime – car manufacturers have made ‘hot wiring’ cars a thing of the past; improved home security makes burglary much more difficult and let’s not forget the ‘target hardening’ benefits of personal safety training.


Many employers now see Personal Safety & Conflict Resolution training as a core part of their induction programmes particularly for those who are lone workers employed in challenging or high risk roles.  And while employers do have a duty to consider the personal safety of their staff it may surprise you to hear that statistically lone workers are not the group most at risk.


When we ask delegates ‘Statistically which group in society do you think is most at risk from assault?’  Invariably the response will be lone workers or the elderly and elderly women in particular.   While elderly people are vulnerable they are more commonly the victims of ‘distraction burglaries’ not street crime. (For more on this topic or to view our next blog post, sign up on our homepage)


It may surprise you to learn that statistically the most vulnerable age group is 16-24 year olds and young men are more liable to be victims of assault than young women.  


But becoming a victim of crime is not inevitable.  Criminals look for easy targets and if they think attacking you will be too much trouble or sense that you could identify them, they will abort and look for an easier target.  Personal safety training can make a lot of difference to a young person’s risk profile – often after delivering training to students, adults present comment that they wish there had been similar training when they were younger – they might have avoided whatever criminal activity they became prey to when they first started college.  Indeed there is nothing more likely to take the shine off your first term at university than becoming the victim of crime.

If you would like to hear more about our short course on Street Survival Skills for young people please give Brooks Jordan a call on 01623 407793 and ask for Julie.


So what do you think?  Are the Police getting better at detecting crime?  Are more criminals going straight or might there be another explanation?  Could it be that we are finally wising up to crime?

Tweet your thoughts to @brooksjordants

Personal Safety when travelling and avoiding car-jacking.

Posted in personal safety on November 3rd, 2011 by Chris – 7 Comments

Lone female being approached in her car

Personal safety in vehicle

Car Safety

Fact – we are now much safer in our homes. Modern alarms and double-glazing make breaking into your home far more difficult for would-be burglars. The same is true of cars – modern vehicles are harder to steal.

So what do criminals need to get into your house or car…?

Answer: Your  keys, which is one reason why street crime has recently increased. To avoid falling victim we need to be more aware of our surroundings when we are out and about.

The following message is an example of one person’s bad experience that they wanted to share with others.
“If you’re anything like me, your usual driving practice is to get straight into the car, lock it and start the engine ready to drive off. You then use your rear view mirror to check the coast is clear before you reverse out of your parking space. It’s at this moment that you spot the piece of paper under the rear windscreen wiper.


Someone just behind you or in the next car or hidden nearby is just waiting for the moment you get out of your car to check the note they left.
And once you do that…..
It only takes a second for the car thief to jump in and steal your car – and where are your mobile phone and purse? In your handbag on the passenger seat, so they’ve been stolen too. Take my advice – just ignore the piece of paper – drive away and when you’re in a safe location, then stop and get out to see what it is.”

Lone female returning to a vehicle
But it could be worse than car jacking – supposing its you rather than the car the assailant wants.
Do you advertise the fact that you are a woman driver? Or worse still that you are a single woman driver? Do you advertise to a would-be assailant what time you will be collecting your car? – No? Well how many of us leave our driving shoes in the passenger foot well when we go for a night out in town? Or put a parking ticket in the windscreen showing what time we have to be back by, or have the parcel shelf packed full of cuddly toys?
It’s a fact that we feel comfortable and cocooned in our cars and so we personalise them. Think about the evidence you leave in your car which might make you vulnerable to being identified. Then think about what you might leave in your car which would throw an attacker off the scent such as a motorbike magazine, a construction worker’s hat on the parcel shelf – or just leaving your car devoid of anything.
And supposing someone did get in to your passenger seat, what would you do?

Well the obvious answer is to get out if you can, but this may not be possible, e.g. you have your child strapped in the back of the car or the potential attacker prevents you by placing his hand over the seat belt release, or the environment is a potentially dangerous one anyway.

In situations such as this remember nothing is too much trouble for your personal safety, all you need to do at the first possible opportunity is have a minor accident. All you need to do is to drive into the car in front. Try to do this when you are in slow or a near stationary traffic queue so the person in front has to get out to see what has happened. Now you will be going home to your family rather than driving yourself to a crime scene. Don’t go mad here just 3-4 miles an hour will do just to get the attention of the other driver. Do you think your potential attacker is going to hang around whilst you exchange insurance details?

Please help us get the message out by forwarding this information to your friends and relatives now

Brooks Jordan often give high impact talks and after dinner presentations to women’s groups on this and other Personal Safety/Conflict Resolution issues.
If you have had a bad experience or a lucky escape and would like to share your experience with others, then please email us at
Want more information then visit our web site
If you would like an entertaining talk for your organization on the subject of personal safety, travel or any other personal safety/conflict management specific issues then please contact us at or just give us a call on 01623 407793

Conflict Resolution/Management training for teenagers

Posted in conflict resolution, personal safety on August 17th, 2011 by Chris – 3 Comments

What is Conflict Resolution?

Conflict resolution is a general term often used to describe personal safety & managing violence/aggression training courses.

Do teenagers need conflict resolution/conflict management skills?

The answer is most definitely Yes

The facts: The most vulnerable members of society in the UK and many other countries are young men between the ages of 15 and 24.

Anger and aggression is a part of our every day life.  While as individuals our anger may be justifiable – who does not feel anger when they hear about the big payouts made to bankers, or cuts to public spending which will affect their quality of life..  But what people don’t have a right to be is hostile and abusive towards others.  Understanding what is acceptable and what is not is the key to managing anger successfully and avoiding aggression.

Brooks Jordan has been providing Personal Safety & Conflict Management training courses to both independent and state sector schools for over 15 years and the fact that we are called back year after year to repeat this training is testimony to the effectiveness of our personal safety programme for schools.

Do teenage girls need Conflict Management skills?  Again definitely – Yes.  Although young women are less disposed to physical aggression than young men the risk for women is always greater in a male to female confrontation, due to the imbalance in strength between men and women.  Hence for young women the risks are in relation to their personal safety, rather than girl on girl physical aggression.  Here avoidance and remaining alert to potential dangers are of greater importance than the risk of conflict or confrontation between women.   Nevertheless young women will be going out with young men and in groups so could easily be drawn into a conflict situation where conflict resolution skills could prevent a hostile encounter from escalating.

For these reasons Brooks Jordan’s Personal Safety Awareness for Students programme is specifically tailored to meet the needs of teenagers, men or women, heading off to college, university or further education in cities they will be unfamiliar with.  For the majority of young people this will the first time they have left the safety of their own home and family to experience the excitement and freedom of independent living.  Few will truly appreciate the risks they may face nor the realise how potentially more hostile their new environment in some of the big cities such as London, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham or Nottingham may be.  This is often quite a culture shock for students bought up in rural or less confrontational parts of the UK.

Have a look at our short videos on our training by following this link:

Just ring us on (01623) 407793 and ask to speak to Julie for more information about this essential training for students.

Brooks Jordan chosen to deliver ‘Independence Day’ training for St Bede’s School East Sussex

Posted in conflict resolution, managing violence & aggression, personal safety, physical skills on February 21st, 2011 by Chris – Be the first to comment

Brooks Jordan is working with St Bede’s School in East Sussex to deliver personal safety training to students preparing to leave school for a gap year or to go to university.

When St Bede’s first approached Brooks Jordan they asked for breakaway skills training for their year 11 pupils but after the first booking, Senior Tutor Coranne Laws booked an additional date with managing violence & aggression trainers Chris Jordan and his team of experts for sixth formers.  Coranne commented,

‘We booked Brooks Jordan as part of a scheduled Personal Safety Day for year 11 students with the aim of preparing our students for the potential risks associated with the greater freedom and autonomy they begin to experience as they move into adulthood. We were looking to provide our students with some practical advice and techniques to enable them to avoid and manage possible threats to their personal safety when in the community, particularly in the evenings.’

Coranne went on to explain why St Bede’s had found Brooks Jordan’s training so useful;

‘The year 11 sessions were very successful, student feedback was positive and supervising staff supported the view that the Brooks Jordan sessions were excellent. Students were taught to understand aggressive body language and how to use their own body language to de-escalate potentially aggressive situations. Following this success we decided to book them again to train year 13 students, this time focusing specifically on preparing students for moving away to University. The trainers shared their knowledge of crimes commonly committed against students and gave advice to enable them to avoid common pitfalls.

Our 6th formers appreciated the opportunity to discuss strategies and techniques and found the chance to practice breakaway techniques both enjoyable and empowering.’

Director Chris Jordan commented:

‘The training is about raising awareness, getting young people to consider potential risks and to plan ahead.  It’s also about looking out for each other when socialising – what might be regarded in police parlance as ‘target hardening.’

We’re delighted that St Bede’s School has chosen Brooks Jordan to deliver personal safety training to its pupils. The school is pleased with our work and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Teachers to be given training in Personal Safety, Conflict Resolution & Self-defence.

Posted in conflict resolution, current affairs, managing violence & aggression, personal safety on January 8th, 2011 by Chris – Be the first to comment

Teachers are to receive self-defence lessons to protect themselves from violent pupils
Teachers will be taught techniques to restrain violent pupils safely and also how to defuse threatening situations.
The aim is to protect teachers and cut the growing number of staff accused of assaulting pupils.
Teachers from primary, secondary and special schools will be trained in the techniques and will pass them onto colleagues.
Schools in Powys, Mid Wales will be the first to try out the special training.
False accusations of assault have blighted the careers of many teachers.
Read full story @:

See recent case in Nottinghamshire
Teacher arrested on suspicion of attempted murder
• Pupil allegedly hit with weight from set of scales
• Science master questioned over two other incidents
Teacher Peter Harvey not guilty over dumbbell assault on pupil
A teacher who beat a boy’s head with a dumbbell while shouting “die, die, die” walked free from court yesterday after being cleared of attempted murder because he was mentally unwell and had been tormented by the pupil.
In a case that raised doubts about whether there was sufficient help available for stressed teachers struggling with disruptive children, Peter Harvey, 50, was cleared after the jury deliberated for little more than an hour. He was also cleared of grievous bodily harm with intent.
Read full story@
For more information about Self-defence training for schools visit: