Lucie Blackman Trust's campaign to promote 'safety texting'

Indira Das-Gupta

The charity established in memory of murder victim Lucie Blackman launched a high-profile campaign this week designed to encourage people to look after their personal safety.

The Lucie Blackman Trust's Be Safe This Christmas campaign will promote safety texting, an initiative Lucie's father, Tim Blackman, has devised with his own money.

Safety texting allows a user to preset their mobile phone to send a text message to a person of their choice soon after the time they are planning to be home. A reminder half an hour before allows them to cancel it if it's clear they'll be on time.

Blackman explained: "It's a way of providing your own personal backup without having to tell everyone where you are going."

Each text currently costs 50p, of which only 9p goes to the charity.

Blackman is looking at ways of reducing the cost and is in talks with Carphone Warehouse about the possibility of using its stores to promote the idea.

Thousands of campaign leaflets will be distributed at universities, and posters will go up on buses. The charity also wants to promote kits that can be used to test drinks to see if they are spiked. Figures published by the Roofie Foundation in June 2004 showed that, in the preceding year, there were more than 6,000 cases of rape involving British citizens in which a so-called date rape drug was used.

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