In October 2022 we were joined by Leighton Buzzard's local PCSO, Rachel to chat to us about runner safety. As a club we requested this session to provide support and information for our members when out running alone or in company. Rachel said that incidents are rare in the LB area but by adopting the following philosophy people can help to minimise risks.
- If wearing headphones, use the bone conducting type, you still need to be aware of what is happening around you, particularly if running on the road.
- Always carry a mobile phone, it can be used for reporting incidents and can have ICE details without needing the pin. Other forms of ID can be carried i.e. parkrun bands.
- Be visible, wearing all black is dangerous and lights are a must (a constant message from the LFR Committee). Rachel handed out some High-Viz - Wrist bands to help people be seen when jogging.
- A panic alarm / rape alarm is advised to be carried, Rachel handed a number out to the audience.
- Plan your routes in advance and let someone know where you are running, stick to main roads where it is well lit and consider varying your route / start times. If you use Strava, hide your start / end points and consider activating live tracking.
- If you are harassed by a vehicle, get the vehicle registration, get a profile description. Take pictures discreetly if you can but don’t antagonise the driver by doing so. Knock on a nearby door for help if you can.
- If the incident is serious call the police straight away, use 101 online or phone line if reporting later. Residential areas, will have CCTV cameras / ring doorbells that can help ID a vehicle / driver.
- Dogs – you can report out of control / aggressive dogs and the police will investigate if required.
- Garmin also has an incident detection alert that can be activated.
These are all sensible points, which we encourage our members to adopt when out running. If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself subject to any kind of abuse when out running, please do be ensure to tell us so we can warn our members.