Bath Voice: Letter to the Editor – pepper sprays should be made legal to enhance the safety of women – this letter follows a recent council debate about night worker safety

Dear Editor, I recently read your article on the debate in the Council about the safety of workers at night. The safety of young women in particular is also an issue in Bath as I have experienced myself. Walking even in a group can still leave you feeling vulnerable but walking at night alone from an evening out to a bus stop or to get a taxi can be very frightening due to the dangers – nearly always from men. So I am writing to bring your attention to a critical issue that I believe deserves widespread discussion and awareness.

As part of our ongoing campaign, we are advocating for the legalization of pepper spray for self-defence purposes in England as we believe that individuals should have the right to protect themselves in threatening situations, and pepper spray can serve as a non-lethal means of defence so many innocent lives are taken due to being attacked just by going about their day to day lives.

Pepper spray is a widely recognized and effective tool for personal safety in many parts of the world. However, its use remains restricted or even prohibited in our country, leaving citizens vulnerable to potential harm or even death.

My campaign seeks to change this by advocating for sensible legislation that would empower individuals to take proactive measures to ensure their own safety.

I am eager to share the message with a broader audience and believe that coverage from the media could help spark meaningful dialogue and action on this important issue. By shedding light on the benefits and necessity of legalizing pepper spray for self-defence, we hope to garner support and momentum for legislative change.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss our campaign further and provide any additional information or insights that may be helpful for your coverage. Please let me know if you would be interested in arranging an interview or learning more about my efforts.

Thank you for considering our request. We look forward to the possibility of collaborating with you. I currently have an online petition and I’m looking at doing a protest very soon.

Many thanks

Polly Worner (Chippenham)

Polly’s Petition is here:

There is also another petition at:

The Editor Harry Mottram comments: With a wife and a daughter who have both been harassed by men at night (and in the daytime) I can understand the issue. The counter argument is would the pepper sprays fall into the wrong hands and be used by rival gangs, muggers, rogue males causing trouble or even school children? Perhaps they could be issued to licence holders by the police or women’s groups. One possibility is to have a limited pilot study and see how they are used and abused. Certainly, everyone agrees the safety of women and girls in particular needs to improve – and the Bath Safe Bus in Bath is a positive step.

NOTES: Currently Bath Voice understands that Italy, France, Czech Republic, Spain, Austria, Poland, Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Serbia and Russia all allow for possession of pepper spray without a licence (in some cases limited to over 18s) and Switzerland, Germany, Finland and Portugal allow possession, but a licence must be obtained first. In Britain you can buy criminal identifier sprays which contain a harmless bright dye that sticks to skin and clothing making it easier to identify an attacker later. Strangely pepper sprays are covered by the Firearms Act 1968 as they are seen as a weapon.

Send in your views to on pepper sprays and night safety at

Bath BID are behind the Bath Safe Bus. Details can be found here:

The photograph is from an online article about rape alarms by Adrian Worthington called “Is Carrying a Rape Alarm Legal in the UK? A Comprehensive Guide to Rape Alarm Laws and Usage“ published last year at

The Bath Voice article on the council debate about night worker safety can be read here: