Agents ‘still at risk’ 30 years after Suzi Lamplugh went missing

We might be approaching 30 years since Fulham estate agent Suzy Lamplugh went missing but the impact that her disappearance had on estate agents is still very much felt. 

suzy lamplugh

Does the safety of estate agents need to be reviewed? We might be approaching 30 years since Fulham estate agent Suzy Lamplugh was declared dead in absentia but the impact that her disappearance had on estate agents of the 80s is still very much felt.

Suzy, who was 25 years old at the time, left her office to meet a client at an empty house that had recently come onto the market. The alarm was raised when Suzy failed to return to work. After calls to her family and friends, she was reported missing at 6.45pm and what followed was Britain’s biggest-ever missing person’s inquiry.


Estate agents operate in a different world to the one where Suzy left with a hand-written note in her work diary of an appointment with “Mr Kipper”, with just her keys and purse in hand.

There are now shared diaries on computers, applicants are verified with email and mobile numbers as well as a home address. CCTV is more prevalent than in the 80s and locations can be tracked, SOS alarms and emergency calls can be made via mobile phones that everyone carries.

Despite this, the question remains if estate agents are really any safer.


The murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and many others in recent years has provoked a national conversation about women’s safety.

Claire Lewis was working at Putney-based Allan Fuller Estate Agents in the same patch as Suzy Lamplugh at the time of her disappearance.

I’d never previously thought about the risks of conducting viewings.”

“It shook us all,” she told The Neg. “I’d never previously thought about the risks of conducting viewings but the reality really hit after news of Suzy’s disappearance spread.”

Claire’s daughter, Charlotte, now works at the same estate agency as her Mum did 30 years on.

“I feel as though safety for female estate agents was much improved after Suzy’s disappearance – it was at the forefront of everyone’s minds and we were all much more careful and checked in on one another. But, as a woman, fears for safety and harassment still remains a part of everyday life”.


There is now a nationwide survey to ask estate agents how safe they feel carrying out viewings as a letting or sales estate agent. It is hoped this will give an indication of whether more needs to be done to protect estate agents at work.

The survey is anonymous and takes less than five minutes to complete. You can take part HERE.

Looking back to 1986, no information was forthcoming on Suzy’s fate even with a police reconstruction and extensive media coverage .


As Suzy’s mother, Diana, heartbreakingly wrote five years later, “there has not been a single trace of her. Nothing. Just as though she has been erased by a rubber”.

John Cannan remains the prime suspect and Suzy’s siblings continue to urge him, if he does know, to tell them what happened to their sister and bring them some form of peace 36 years later.

More details about the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which is currently leading a campaign to end street harassment of women, can be found here.

Read more about the case.

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