A gang of armed robbers held a man hostage for two days, stripped him naked and beat him before raiding his parents’ home.
This is the headlines in a news report all because a young man living in London took the decision to wear his £9,000 Rolex watch, during the middle of the day. He was set upon by a gang of men armed with knives and pistols. Once subdued he was taken to his home and subjected to a 50-hour ordeal of being held against his will.
During his captivity he was subjected to physical assault and torment. The gang forced him to call his parents to make excessive ransom demands, which could not be met. Taking keys from the man’s home, members of the gang went and burglarised the man’s parents’ home.
After a period of time, the kidnappers took the young man in his own car to a cash point machine, where they would force him to withdrawal a large amount of cash
Fearing they may get caught on the cash point CCTV they allowed the man to approach the cash point alone while they waited in the car. Seeing his opportunity, the man bolted and made his escape, leaving the kidnapers behind and eventually finding his way to the police.
Although a rare attack within the UK, it must never be ruled out as it has happened on many occasions and with the rise of social media, there are far too many threats to people and their families who have a prominent public profile.
We can all go a long way to not becoming a victim of the predators that lingue poised to attack.
By apply the principles of personal security, we can arm ourselves with the knowledge to help avoid such situations.
- Have a good understanding of Situational Awareness, apply the action of being situationally aware, take the time to look at what you are seeing! Don’t present an image of being arrogant but one of a person who is confident and aware of their surroundings at all times.
- Use the principle of avoidance. Avoid setting routines on often what may be daily activity. Avoid trouble by anticipating what may occur when you’re out and about.
- Follow advice from security and law enforcement professionals. Such as the following:
- Don’t take a short cut especially at night,
- Do not use your phone when walking, avoid listening to music as you walk the streets.
- Never leave a nightclub or social event alone especially if you have been drinking.
- Don’t place items of value in your back pocket.
- Evaluate your options as you move along your journey, use the “what if” principle!
- Reduce your profile, don’t wear an expensive piece of jewellery or use items that can clearly be seen as have a value to them and will draw attention to you as the next victim. If you do wear or use such items, them keep them out of sight and use any phone for instance in a place of safety and not walking along the street chatting or texting.
A kidnap situation is a terrifying ordeal for anybody, but one if it happened where you must try to maintain your calm:
- During any initial attack, if you are subdued quickly then fighting back at this stage may create the violence to become more intense and serious injuries will be sustained.
- Try to create a starting point for police services in the investigation, even though in today’s society the use of smartphones and social media can always be a point of evidence.
- Panic will set in and the feeling of isolation due to the loss of liberty with be overwhelming.
- Become the grey person, do not give the kidnapper’s a reason to inflict any more aggression on to you.
- Settle your mind for a prolonged stay of captivity.
- Use your mind to create a routine for yourself (if possible).
- Never try to offer any form of negotiation to your captives, allow the professionals to conduct this activity.
- After a period of time, try to create dialog with what may be the more approachable kidnaper, to be seen as human again.
- Keep your mind open to escape, never try an escape until you are more than 100% sure you will get away with it.