LETTER: More likely to die in own home

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Your story with a photo of young people sitting at the cliff edge at Birling Gap looks justified, but in reality you are totally over-dramatizing the risk.

The truth is, you are much more likely to die by falling down the stairs in your own home, or down your front steps, than you are by falling off a cliff.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics for 2010 show that nine people died in the UK by falling off a cliff, whereas 655 people died by falling down ordinary steps or stairs.

In addition, 91 died by falling off buildings and 53 died by falling off ladders.

My brother and I grew up in Newhaven and as teenagers frequently played along the cliff tops, as well as climbing the cliffs and sitting beneath them on the beach.

We had a great time. We were never injured.

A certain amount of risk is needed in people’s lives.

The growing tendency to try and insulate people from all possible hazards derives from good intentions but is destroying our free-spirited quality of life.

People who wish to fence off the cliff tops would do well to note that, while nine people died by falling off cliffs in 2010, nearly 2000 died in road accidents.

Why not fence off the highways?

Clearly, they are the most dangerous places to be.

Peter Waight

Fort Road, Newhaven