New Forest East



[James Gray: ...Basic self-defence teaching can be done during physical training in the ordinary course of events in the school year. We do not want large amounts of money spent or complicated self-defence mechanisms taught. We want the basics. We simply want young people to leave school with an understanding of how they can conduct themselves in a dangerous world.]

Dr Julian Lewis: I am very interested in the case that my hon. Friend makes. Does he see any role in this scenario for the simple personal ​alarms with which Members of the House have been recently equipped? They are easy to operate and make a tremendous noise, which could well stave off an attacker.

[James Gray: My right hon. Friend makes an extremely interesting suggestion. No doubt that could form part of it. It would of course involve spending money, but what we propose would be largely free of charge to the state and would merely involve a slight change in the curriculum. However, my right hon. Friend is right to think of a personal alarm, which is often a useful to thing to have and perhaps might form part of how we take the agenda forward, so I am most grateful to him for his suggestion.

Incidentally, Mr Hollobone, it is a pleasure to sit under someone who shares the same birthday – 7 November, should anyone want to know.]

Dr Lewis: And largely the same views.

[ ... ]

Dr Lewis: I have used the intervening period since my speech to check on the price of rape and other attack alarms. From a well-known online megastore, one can get a pack of three of these extremely effective protective devices for less than £9. Does the Minister agree that, as a matter of routine, particularly where people are concerned about attacks in public places, such a modest investment is well worth making?

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education (Vicky Ford): We should look at all ways in which to keep young people safe. I note that it is possible to get such an alarm as an app on one’s phone. I will certainly look at his point.]