The festive season will soon commence. Given what a long year this has been, invariably many will be looking forward to some celebratory events. So yes, this is the time of parties, dinners, work functions and Christmas sweaters. From the security perspective, ‘tis also the season to be vigilant…
Here are some insights from the UMBRA Secure Team:
With so much going on, you might find the month is crammed with activity. Sometimes it can even feel tiring. Don’t let fatigue cause you to drop your guard. Don’t rush around at a chaotic pace, where you compromise your awareness. Take a moment to calm yourself. breathe, centre, and activate your awareness.
When going to parties or nights out, just as Close Protection teams plan their routes ahead, you should familiarise yourself with venue locations and develop a sense of how to get there. Think of the safest routes and organise transport effectively. When moving about, try to minimise or even avoid where possible lots of time staring at your phone or an on-screen map.
Criminals use awareness too, they observe who is distracted by their tech, they see who looks vulnerable perhaps due to their body language or intoxicated state. Inside venues, one must be especially vigilant in regard to one’s drinks. Be careful of who offers you a drink and don’t leave yours exposed. Drink spiking is a very real threat, even in nice venues. In crowded or lively places, also be aware of the risk of spiking via needles or other means. Notice in nocturnal venues, how sometimes dangerous individuals or groups might start off by being friendly and inviting. Also in venues, be mindful of bag or phone snatchers. They tend to come out a lot more at this time of year.
Especially important is our route and method of getting home. This is when people sometimes compromise their safety. Be careful leaving stations or venues when it is dark or late at night. Be mindful of anyone who might be following you. Don’t hesitate to call for help if you feel something isn’t right. Criminals often tend to frequent areas where there are bars and clubs. They also spend time in expensive areas, where victims may have more wealth. Maintain vigilance even in these areas.
When moving about the city, note the behavioural indicators that convey someone may be a threat, excessive eye contact, unpredictable or intimidating body language; groups that seem to be just hanging about. If you see a potential risk in advance, you will be better at avoiding it.
Also, note that some criminals use vehicles from which to engage their selected vehicle. Use your vigilance to spot individuals sat in cars and again keep your distance. Move with purpose and convey you are alert. At other times, study how to blend into an environment and not get noticed. UMBRA International’s urban awareness courses can also help you sharpen up and be more confident.
Before going out, assess yourself, does your jewellery, watch or bag make you stand out? Can you conceal or use coats that hide your attire? Do you have footwear that you can run in or escape trouble quickly? What story do you project – victim, easy target, vulnerable, or perhaps calm and alert?
Secure Lifestyle starts with Situational Awareness, and we help clients all year round to empower them and their families. Get in touch for more help and support.
Seasons Greetings from UMBRA Secure and the Training Team