Give up your belongings and scram

YOU are walking down the street assertively and confidently with purpose in your stride, ever alert. Suddenly a poorly dressed stranger with a crooked smile and shifty eyes walks up to you. You panic, your body tenses. Do you shout? Do you scream? Do you run? What now? What to do?

The stranger extends his hand and calmly walks past you and hugs the person behind you. You sigh with relief and continue walking, shaking your head, laughing at yourself.

So, who are these urban predators who lie in wait for unsuspecting prey to walk by before they pounce and take advantage? The odds are they are mostly unemployed males between 15 and 25 years of age. Their main motivation will be money, alcohol, drugs and in some cases even sexual.

They do not have a specific dress code or social standing. They mainly hunt in groups of two or more and pick targets at random, usually stragglers from the herd: the sick, weak, elderly and/or unhealthy.

When confronted it is most important to ascertain what they want from you, for example do they want your belongings or cash? Then simply do what Supermom does – give it to them!

Your life is a lot more valuable than your cash or personal belongings.

Nowadays many people have insurance to replace lost or stolen goods, and loved ones will always come to the rescue.

Right now the following thoughts may be running through your mind: what if they want more than just my goods and valuables? What if they want to hurt me? What if they want to sexually attack me? What then? What do I do?

You raise the alarm. You shout and scream. Draw attention to yourself and run away.

Criminals do not like attention being drawn to them, that’s why they say: “If you scream I will hurt you”. They are doing it to prevent attentionbeing drawn to you.

In the next article we will discuss how to deal with a confrontational situation when it becomes physical.

Tip of the week for if you are confronted by a would-be attacker:

  • Be calm;

  • Try to ascertain what they want (be it cash or belongings);

  • Give it to them, and

  • RUN!

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