England & Wales, Scotland Personal and organisational development

Personal safety for councillors

This Guide was first produced in 2019. It was updated in March 2021 to include information about canvassing safely in the run up to the local elections in May 2021. There is also a new section on Covid-19.

Our personal safety is something many of us take for granted, and it is only when a major incident occurs that we stop and think about our own vulnerability. There have been very few major incidents involving violence toward local or national politicians, although when attacks do take place they are widely reported. Some councillors may feel that the controversial decisions they are involved in making along with the current febrile political atmosphere could mean that they are more exposed.

This short guide offers some guidance on assessing risk and adopting strategies and behaviours that will minimise any potential hazards you might identify as part of your councillor role.

This guide has been abridged from a longer publication – Personal Safety for Councillors – by Miranda Smythe of Baikie-Wood Consultancy. You can purchase copies of the longer guide and find out about personal safety training courses at Baikie-Wood Consultancy.