In the news today is the seemingly dramatic story of brave Prince Harry rushing to the aid of his friend who was robbed of his Blackberry.
It would appear that the Prince was talking to his friend Thomas van Straubenzee on the phone whilst Thomas was walking through Battersea in London. Obviously Thomas was approached by at least one person and Prince Harry overheard a scuffle taking place. Then apparently they were abruptly cut off and the Prince (with personal armed body guard in tow) jumped on his white Charger (or Audi in this case) and drove off to circle the streets of Battersea looking for his friend; who was safe and well giving a statement at the police station.
What can we ordinary people do in a situation like this to improve our personal safety?
The question is then, for those of us that don’t have a bona fide Prince of the Realm to rush to our rescue, what can we ordinary people do in a situation like this to improve our personal safety? What would you do, if whilst walking down the street chatting on your phone, you suddenly become aware of someone who you instinctively feel poses an imminent threat?
There are many ways you can devalue yourself as a target, by giving the impression you have nothing of value to steal for example, but in this scenario the bad guy has already seen you talking on an expensive looking phone. So what do you do? You can “attack” the bad guy on a psychological level in order to change his mind about picking you as a target. So how can you give the impression that mugging you right now is not a good idea?
Bad guys don’t want to get hurt
Tony Blauer’s SPEAR System teaches us that one of the 3 things a bad guy doesn’t want, is that bad guys don’t want to get hurt. This is fairly obvious when you think about it, after all who would think: “I’m want to steal that phone, but I’m going to get my ass kicked in the process.” and then still go ahead with the attack?
So here’s one thing you could do: You’re walking down the road chatting on your phone and you become aware of the bad guy, you want to give the impression that you’re not going to be easy prey, you start shouting down the phone (feel free to throw in some expletives too, I haven’t here as I don’t know who’s going to be reading this):
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T DO THAT?!? I’M TELLING YOU, YOU’D BETTER DO IT OR SO HELP ME I’M GOING TO GIVE YOU A BEATING YOU’LL STILL BE RECOVERING FROM *NEXT* CHRISTMAS, OR HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN LAST TIME ALREADY? … NO, NO I WANT ACCEPT THAT. … I’M TELLING YOU, YOUR PUSHING MY BUTTONS RIGHT NOW, IF YOU CAN’T GET THIS RIGHT YOUR GOING TO WISH YOU’D NEVER MET ME!”
Hopefully you get the point. If you heard someone on the phone having a conversation like that, wouldn’t you think they were some mad psycho who would as likely rip your head off as soon as look at you? Think about it from the bad guy’s perspective, they want an easy target. Getting into a street brawl with some nutter who may well do them some damage (even if that’s just scratching them in the face), generally isn’t in their script.
Suddenly that shiny phone isn’t looking quite so attractive. Oh hold on, here comes someone else talking on the phone, and they look much more docile…