Being Kidnapped in London UK

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.

Points:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Evaluate your options as you move along your journey, use the “what if” principle!
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Panic will set in and the feeling of isolation due to the loss of liberty with be overwhelming.
  4. Become the grey person, do not give the kidnapper’s a reason to inflict any more aggression on to you.
  5. Settle your mind for a prolonged stay of captivity.
  6. Use your mind to create a routine for yourself (if possible).
  7. Never try to offer any form of negotiation to your captives, allow the professionals to conduct this activity.
  8. After a period of time, try to create dialog with what may be the more approachable kidnaper, to be seen as human again.
  9. Keep your mind open to escape, never try an escape until you are more than 100% sure you will get away with it.

Personal Security Awareness Training

Staff Defence Ltd,  next PSAT course, May 20th – 22nd, 2019. Come and join us, learn new skills, refresh old skills.

Staff Defence Ltd, PSAT (HEAT), will prepare the individual for travelling to areas of challenging environments. The course focuses on the current risks and threats the traveller may face, providing the necessary skills and principles required to stay safe. This is achieved through a mixture of pre-course reading, instructor lead presentations and real-life scenarios with role players.
This course is designed with the NGO and charity field staff worker’s, Media personnel and Corporate travellers in mind, as they travel to remote locations and operate within the boundaries of camps, villages and other locations in areas of a fragile nature.

Taxi Safety

A shocking story from last week has revealed how a young female student ordered an Uber ride in the early hours, after spending the night with her friends. After waiting for the ride, the young student approached and entered what she thought was her Uber, said the Police. Surveillance footage captured her getting into the black Chevrolet Impala, and she was never seen alive again.

Points:

The moment you use a taxi you have no assurance that the driver is who he claims to be or has got any insurance or driving licence. You have no way of knowing how the driver conducts his business. When you enter a taxi or minicab anything driven, you surrender a little control to another person. Usually that person is completely unknown to you and so it is important to think carefully about your personal safety while traveling in a taxi. Continue reading “Taxi Safety”

Travelling Safely is your Right

This week, Federal authorities in the USA have arrested an active-duty US Coast Guard Lieutenant after a raid on his property revealed a huge weapons cache – weapons that Christopher Hasson had been stockpiling for his plan to slaughter masses of innocent civilians in act that would have shaken the nation. His plan had been borne of studying the manifesto of the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik.  Along with weapons, many drugs were found, all to be used to keep him alert during his rampage.

Hasson isn’t a member of any international terrorist organisation, he is a self-proclaimed white nationalist and Nazi sympathizer who not only amassed the weapons and ammunition, but also researched and made efforts to obtain diseases to conduct a biological attack at the same time as his mass shooting spree.  How many of these hidden attacks and attackers are out there in locations that we all tell ourselves are a safe place to go?  Are they just a figment of our imagination?  Is this activity reserved solely to the bad lands of where the international terrorist organisations are locked in battle with their home nation and, in some places, Western military forces? Continue reading “Travelling Safely is your Right”

Successful PSAT Training Completed

Staff Defence Ltd have just completed another very successful PSAT course. Delegates were taught valuable skills for deployment and travel to remote and hostile parts of the world. After this the delegates covered the theory side then had a day to fully immerse themselves into a number of role play scenarios where all of the skills learnt were put into practice. This helps to strengthen their confidence to travel and work overseas.

Well done to all our valued delegates that attended the course this week, it was a pleasure to have worked with you all. Safe travels.

PSAT Training

Read more about our Personal Security Awareness Course

Preparing to Travel Safely

A 36-year-old American lady travelled to Costa Rica in November 2018 with her sister in law to celebrate her birthday. One week after checking in for her return flight to back to the USA her body was found in the back yard of the Airbnb that she had been staying in.

In 2017 a British backpacker was kidnapped and raped during her stay in Australia, more and more we are reading about the crimes bestowed upon innocent travellers. A 2018 travel survey showed that 83 percent of women polled had experienced a safety issue while traveling overseas and around the UK. Continue reading “Preparing to Travel Safely”

Travel Safety Training

“It was like a towering inferno. We were screaming, we were terrified. We dropped everything. Shoes, phones, we were running for our lives. We were just running for our lives, shoes off, following this young boy who led us down through a labyrinth of back passageways and under the burning building. Outside there was a stampede – people were running everywhere, the police were coming in. It looked like the end of the world. I was shocked, just so shocked. I was barefoot and crying all the way home, I was sure people must have burned in their rooms. The hotel handled this incredibly well”.

Continue reading “Travel Safety Training”

cash-machine-fraud

Cash Machine Fraud

Sitting in the cafe, my friend went off to get some cash from the machine around the corner. After a few minutes he came back saying that the machine didn’t give him his money, it just returned his card, even though there was not message to say that cash was not being dispensed. Quickly making our way back to the machine, we found people happily withdrawing their hard-earned cash from their accounts. He had become another victim of the ATM scimmers.

Continue reading “Cash Machine Fraud”

four-men-on-mopeds-with-weapons

The Rise of Moped Crime

The attack was swift, opportunistic and utterly terrifying. It was a spring morning, shortly after school drop-off. A mother of two young children had parked in a leafy road in Hampstead, North London; a wide, affluent thoroughfare flanked by sprawling Victorian villas where flats sell for around £2 million.

She had delivered her children, aged seven and ten, to their smart independent prep schools and planned a shopping trip. Mindful of a spate of street muggings that had hit the area, she was playing safe — or so she believed — by sitting in her car, paying for her parking on her mobile.

Continue reading “The Rise of Moped Crime”