I come across this on Gunsite.co.za, but a lot of what they mention could be applied to going to dodgy places, and keeping alert. It has nothing to do with firearms. I edited some of the stuff out that was to do with house burglaries and stuff, cos thats got nothing to do with the trip you will be on. Ignore the references to rands
Just as there are advantages for criminals there are also disadvantages. These are often recognizable and evidence of an impending attack. Prior to an attack, "target identification" must be verified. Usually this will involve a criminal possibly giving away his / her intentions by focusing too much on the target, or by signaling another attacker. Attacks can also be disguised by ruses such as asking for directions or a cigarette while nervously looking around, or engaging in conservation while hiding their hands from view. If more than one attacker is used one will be obvious so that your attention is solely focused on that individual while another attacks from an advantageous angle. The correlation of movement is another factor that needs to be recognized. An example is when you observe an individual looking at you but then suddenly look away when you observe him. Then as you cross over a street the potential attacker moves directly towards you or at an angle. In these situations you have to trust your intuition and instincts. If you feel that something is not right it usually means it is not. At this point you have to react by moving to a more advantageous position. What you want to do is separate yourself from your attacker by trying to place distance or something between you and the criminal such as a vehicle.
Remember a criminal has to transition towards you to execute the attack. By being alert and aware to correlation of movement you will be in a position to recognize pre-threat indicators and respond decisively. Your ability to exploit the inflexibility of your attacker is paramount. If they are planning on attacking you in front of an alley but you recognize this and cross the street while moving towards a different direction you will exploit their probable lack of readiness and ability to execute a change in plan
The concept is always threat avoidance!
Facts About Attacks
• 90% of Random Attacks are Successful
• Attacks are Preceded by Some Type of Surveillance
Advantages For The Attacker
• Initiate the Action
• Method of Attack
• Location of Attack
• Element of Surprise
What Advantages Do You Have?
• Empowerment to Enact Self-Security Measures
• Knowledge of Your Movement Patterns
• Ability to Change Quickly
• Support Resources
• Better Opportunity to “Know Your Surroundings”
• Reduce Element of Surprise - Ability to Modify Environment
• Anyplace / Anytime
• Victim Selection Occurs in about 10 seconds
• Criminals Look for the Unaware and Distracted
• Robbery and Express Kidnapping are Typical Examples
• Open Avenue
• Head and Eyes Up
• Keep a visual of your surroundings
• Don’t Multi-Task
• Move Confidently
• Project the image of an alert person
• Limit carrying excess baggage
• Know Your Exits
• Where can you escape safely and readily
Again the concepts of threat recognition and security posture are key to these concepts. Most of what is relayed here sounds like common sense and that is because good security starts from just that, common sense and logical planning.
One of the key aspects in avoiding muggings is your own body language
Muggers like any other predatory criminal will nearly always single out those that appear weaker. Conduct yourself with confidence, when you walk do not look afraid keep your shoulders back and stride out. Here comes a bit of a balance whilst you need to conduct yourself with confidence and portray strength you also need to blend in.
Don’t be too flashy. A 250 000 rand watch might look great on you but will also undoubtedly garner you attention that you don’t want.
Your appearance should be neat and business like, without an overt display of wealth.
Your aim is to blend in with the crowd around you. Avoid prolonged eye contact with those around you. Keep mobile until you reach your destination
Keep to the safe area’s there are plenty of reasons why muggers are reticent to attack people in well lit areas with plenty of people in the vicinity number one of which is that it increases their risk profile.
Muggers are not in their line of business because they want to be caught!
Be sensible, it is not a good idea to stand around your hotel on the sidewalk having a long conversation on your mobile phone whilst waving your arms about. This just makes you a focal point of attention.
It will also attract a mugger to the fact that you have a mobile phone and remember that certain types of phone handsets rightly or wrongly are associated with people with a higher degree of disposable income.
Use your headset if you need to speak on the phone in the street or even better go into a secure environment and chat away to your hearts content.
Keep alert and attune to your surroundings, especially when you are in an area which is unfamiliar to you. Ask yourself if people local to an area don’t use a specific route at a specific time, why don’t they?
When ever you are unsure check with people who have local knowledge.
Always err on the side of caution when it comes to your own safety.
IDENTIFY YOUR CHOKE POINTS
• Locations You Must Go Through While in Transit
• Forces You to Slow Down
• Easy to Block Your Movement - Roadblocks
• Multiple Places for People to Hide in Ambush
• Places Where They Can Observe You Unnoticed - Bus Stops
What Should You do if You are Attacked?
• Run Before You Resist
• Never Go to a Second Crime Scene
• Never Give Up, escape is NOT GIVING UP!
Remain calm and respond to request for valuables
• Toss valuables away from attacker in one direction, run in the opposite direction
• Never leave with an attacker – do not allow yourself to be taken to a location where the attacker controls the environment