The Personal Security of Individuals in British Public Life

Individuals in public life face a diverse range of potential threats from numerous sources with different potential causes and consequences. Threats can range from bullying (both in person and through malicious communications), persistent abuse and harassment, intimidation, stalking, and threats of violence to individuals, their families and staff to the most serious criminal offences, including physical or sexual abuse, assault, and, in a number of tragic cases, murder.

This report, co-authored by Alex Krasodomski-Jones at Demos and Alexander Babuta at RUSI explores the personal security of individuals in British public life. Much of the content is based on the proceedings of a half-day conference held at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) organised in partnership with Demos.

Attendees included Members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, academics, legal experts, current and former government practitioners and policymakers, law enforcement representatives, representatives from the private sector, NGOs, and individuals with direct personal experience of abuse, harassment and stalking.

This paper focuses specifically on the threats faced by British politicians and those who are employed by the state. We seek to first define the problem through characterising the spectrum of threats, the range of perpetrators and of potential victims before discussing potential responses and the division of responsibilities for delivery of protective services.

Read the paper in full here.