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How To Protect Yourself From Crime

Daily, when you read a newspaper or watch a news channel on the TV, the crime news, be it a murder, rape, robbery or assault, is everywhere.

You come across stories such as Ram, a software engineer, was robbed of his values while he on his way home from office or Rachel, a student was raped or goons assaulted Arjun, a techie.

Crime is everywhere. After reading or watching this news, you pity for these individuals, curse their fate or blame the society, police, or political system.

Two choices:

One is either to go back to the routine mode and do the same, as I mentioned above.

Or the second is to spend less than one percentile of the time to understand how crime occurs practically and then learn to avoid being a victim of a crime or protect ourselves from it rather than wasting way too much of time on either reading a newspaper or watching the TV without having a clue of it.

The choice is yours!

Common folks believe that crime is something that happens unexpectedly. Because they are misled by the crime scenes depicted in the movies or in the fiction novels or in the news channels in that direction.

However, security professionals and law enforcement professionals know that crime is a process and often follows a pattern by virtue of his profession and experience.

Crime Triangle

Anyone can understand this process easily if he or she is willing to learn. Security experts call it a Crime Triangle. For a crime to occur, three elements, namely “desire, target, and opportunity” must be present.

For example, If you ever attended a fire safety class in your college or your office induction training, they might have told you, for the fire to occur, three elements, namely “ignition source, fuel, and oxygen,” must be present.

Safety professionals call it a fire triangle.

They also might have told you that fire cannot happen unless these three elements are present. If you remove any one of these elements, you can remove the risk of a fire.

The simple theory applies to a crime as well. For a crime incident to be successful, three elements, namely “desire, target, and opportunity” must be present there.

This process is known as a crime triangle. The good news is that you have control over the two out of the three elements.

Let me explain each of these individual elements step-by-step.

Desire Or Motivation:

The first element is “desire.” This is the criminal’s drive, intent, motivation, and his rationale for committing a crime.

You absolutely have no control over what is going on in someone else’s mind. Therefore, there is nothing realistically or practically, you can do to restrict or eliminate their desires or motives.

Once a criminal has a desire, he or she looks for a target and an opportunity. This is where your security awareness and readiness come to into play a vital role.

Target Or Victim:

Criminals always look for an easy target. They choose someone who appears to be an easy victim. They search for people who appear as not being aware of their surroundings, easy to overtake, or overpower.

Therefore, an easy target for the criminal is the one who will not put up any resistance while committing a crime. Here is what you can do not to become an easy target:

  • By becoming more aware of your surroundings
  • By improving your body language like confident glance, chest up & chin up and shoulders back & arms swinging, walking confidently
  • Scanning the area etc

By doing the above, you send a strong signal to any would-be predator that you are not an easy target.

Opportunity Or Place:

The third element is “opportunity.” You can simply break the crime triangle by not providing an opportunity to criminals. Once a criminal has a desire and finds an easy target or victim, then he needs an opportunity or place to commit the crime.

Understand Security Process:

For being secure 24/7, one needs to understand that there are two elements involved in the security process. One is security awareness, and another is the security readiness of the individual.

Awareness is the understanding of what a crime is, why, and how the crime occurs and knowing about the environment.

The security readiness is how capable anyone can become to avoid the potential dangers, to reduce the impact, or to neutralize the crime if he or she becomes a target

In the awareness part, you can control this by paying attention to the environment like

  •  Are you in a crime-prone area of the town?
  •  Are you walking in the unlit or dark area?
  • Are you in an isolated area?
  • Are you not defining personal boundaries?
  • Are you letting the strangers too close to ask questions?

In the readiness part, you can prepare yourself simply by avoiding the opportunities that lead to crime. Reduce the opportunity is about being vigilant to your environment and your readiness to remove yourself from the questionable environment if you sense any danger or by sending strong signals that you are not an easy target.

Neutralizing a criminal is by taking a self-defense course or learning skills set for becoming a capable guardian of yourself to fight back if you are confronted if the crime is inevitable.

Example-1:

Imagine a criminal got a desire to steal a significant amount of the money so that he can get whatever he wants without working hard to earn that money legally.

He carried out the recce of the town and found a nearby bank has several customers drawing money daily. One day, he observed a person drawing a significant amount of money from the bank.

Now, whether he will become the victim of the crime or not depends on two factors (not becoming an easy target and not giving an opportunity)

Here Is How He Can Do It:

Not to become an easy target:

  • Be alert to his surroundings
  • Confident gazing and scanning the area quickly for anyone suspicious person or activity

By doing these, he could send a strong signal to the criminal that he is not an easy target.

Not giving an opportunity:

  • Not letting the strangers come too close
  • Avoid going through crime-prone area
  • Avoid walking in the unlit or dark area
  • Avoid going in an isolated area

 

Example-2:

Let us take an example of Rosie, an attractive, bold young lady who had to work late night in the office. After back-to-back meetings, she is almost tired, and then she left for home.

She booked a local cab and got into the cab to go home. If the cab driver has a desire to sexually assaulting her, he will look for whether she is an easy target or not.

Since she is already tired and available in his cab, she might appear to be an easy target. Also, it is also late night and the area is dark so that he can quickly isolate her from any public, an excellent opportunity for him to commit a crime.

Whether she becomes a victim of a crime or not depends on two factors (Not becoming an easy target and not giving an opportunity).

According to the Crime Triangle principle, she will not have any clues about his desire or motivation, whether he will commit a crime or not.

Here Is How She Can Avoid The Crime:

Not to appear an easy target:

  • Sit and behave in the cab as someone on purpose and a capable guardian by projecting strong body language and vocal projection
  • Being vigilant to the driver and surrounding environment rather than texting with the smartphone
  • Book the cab from reliable transport and take complete details of the driver during booking
  • Update about her whereabouts to the capable guardians (family members, friends, or police patrolling teams) overtly so that the driver be aware that his identity has already been passed to the concerned response team.

By doing these, he could send a strong signal to the criminal that he is not an easy target.

Not giving an opportunity:

  • First off, avoid traveling in odd hours alone
  • If unavoidable, taking the help of capable guardians (Security escort or family members, friends, colleagues, or police patrolling teams colleague).
  • Having and trained in using a self-defense instrument (gun, pepper spray, etc.) to respond back
  • Making herself a capable guardian by taking a self-defense class(Requires time and effort) or else avoid going alone is the best option.

Conclusion:

To protect yourself from crime, you must understand that there are two elements involved in the security process. One is your security awareness, and another is your security readiness.

Security Awareness is the understanding of what a crime is, why, and how the crime occurs and knowing about the environment.

Security Readiness is how capable you can avoid the potential dangers, to reduce the impact, or to neutralize the crime if you become a target.

Therefore, by improving your awareness and readiness, you can break the crime triangle and then avoid being a victim of a crime or can protect yourself from potential crime.

 

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts from the comments sections.

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