SURVIVING AN ARMED ROBBERY
South African life is composed of a mixture of highs and lows. Regrettably armed robberies have become part of the South African norm. There are various forms of robbery affecting suburbia – high speed robberies in the driveway, shopping centre attacks and the much-feared home invasion. “ While the modus operandi is slightly different in each attack, certain survival principles are applicable” says Jason Mordecai 7Arrows Security
There are a number of instances where street-wise citizens have successfully fought back and beaten their attackers. However, in most cases the odds are firmly stacked against the victim, and a different set of survival skills are required. The first step is an instant reorganisation of priorities. The survivor’s job is not to fight back, or to help the police to catch the bad guys; the first priority is to get back to your family safely. Every step you take must be engineered to achieve this goal.
· Movements must be steady and deliberate, consider that the attacker may nervous and that sudden movements may alarm him.
· It is important that the attacker understands that you are not a threat and are willing to comply to his demands, this will also mean giving up valuables to him.
· Your body language is also important in this respect. Avoid eye contact and carry yourself in a nonthreatening way.
· Consider teaching your children a keyword that tells them that this is a dangerous situation and they must follow your commands, this is especially valuable in a shopping centre incident where you need to keep the family together and under your control. Self-talk is a valuable tool as you guide yourself through the incident.
· It has often been said that you should attempt to observe your attacker’s features, however this can often escalate a situation, remember the primary goal.
· Set yourself up so that you can call for help once the suspects have left.
· Ensure that there are panic buttons spread around the house, including in the bathrooms. Notify responders immediately in the event that a smart device that can be tracked has been taken. A panic button kept in the car and that can be activated from the driveway is also a useful tool as phones are most often taken.
Lastly it is important to try to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. Dont let yourself and homes be vulnerable to criminals by assessing your security within your homes and residential areas. Always remain aware of your surroundings and make sure you don’t leave any opportunities for criminals to gain easy access into your lives.