If You're Attacked
Steve Bending (DSI) gives expert video advice on: If someone attacks me, how can I defend myself?; If someone takes my wallet or handbag, what should I do?; If someone takes my mobile phone what should I do? and more...
What should I do if someone tries to mug me?
I think the important thing to remember is that at the end of the day property can be replaced. If someone does try to use violence or threaten violence against you, in order to take your property, in reality it's actually better to let them have that property. The best way you can ensure your safety and to provide the police with the best opportunity of catching the person, in the long-term, would be to try and make some mental notes around the description of the person and their conduct to help us if we catch them to prosecute them, rather than try and resist at the time and potentially put yourself in more danger than you actually were originally.
If I am being attacked, what can I do to attract help?
I think the phrase “attract attention” or “attract help” is actually the answer to the whole thing. If a suspect who's trying to commit a crime feels that there's a likelihood that they're going to be caught, they're more likely to try to run away than they are to continue to commit the crime. It's all about trying to attract attention. That could be, if you're in possession of a personal attack alarm, using that personal attack alarm to attract attention, or by shouting and making a noise. Generally speaking, most people who commit a crime don't want to have other people intervene. By making as much noise and fuss as you can, you may prevent them from committing a crime, or cause them to stop and run away.
If someone takes my wallet or handbag, what should I do?
I think it's important that if your wallet or handbag has been stolen that you report it to police, and it's important to differentiate between what's lost and what's stolen. If it's lost, you need to make it clear when you report something that's lost. If it's stolen, then obviously we record it as a crime and that enables us to gain a picture of crimes that are taking place in a particular area, which then obviously enables us to take action in terms of deploying police officers to patrol a particular area. So, if you are a victim of crime and have property stolen, report it to the police so that we can take action. One, to prevent other offenses taking place in the future; secondly, that gives us the information that we would potentially need to catch the person who committed the offense in the first place and prosecute them.
If someone takes my mobile phone what should I do?
There are several key things to think about if someone takes your mobile phone. The first thing is that you should, in the first place, have registered your mobile phone at immobilize.com. If you register the IBI number there, which you get by dialing this onto your keypad: star, hash, zero, six, hash, that enables the police to get your phone back far more easily than if you hadn't done so, and just as importantly, catch people who've actually got stolen phones in their possession. So, if you register the phone and your phone is stolen, you can actually go onto the website and physically record that your phone has been stolen, and that information is available to the police should they stop someone in possession of your phone. The second thing that you should do if someone has taken your mobile phone, is contact your network provider and inform them that your phone has been stolen, asking them not only to block the SIM card, but also ensure that they block the handset as well. The industry has a commitment to block handsets that are stolen in crime in the UK and will block most handsets within 14 hours of being stolen. So by doing so, not only is the fact that your phone being stolen recorded, but it's rendered useless to the person who has stolen it within 14 hours or so. The third thing that you should do, the most important thing really, is report the theft or the offense that relates to your phone to the police so that they can record that offense. This obviously gives the best opportunity of investigating it and catching the person who is responsible in the future.
What should I do if someone confronts me with a knife or gun?
I think it's important to put someone confronting you with a knife or gun into perspective. In 27, knife crime is actually down compared to 26 in London, and it is actually a reasonably rare event still. Gun crime is actually, although there are obviously incidents, very sad and tragic incidents, still, thankfully, a relatively rare occurrence in London, one of the most major cities in the world.That said, I think it's important, in looking at the question of how you actually react if you are threatened with a knife or a gun, to try, as best you can in such a situation, not to escalate it or allow for it to escalate, as best you can. So try and remain calm, I think is the key message. And if someone wants your property, just let them have it. You can replace property, whereas obviously you want to avoid, if you can, escalating the situation.
What should I do if I suspect my taxi driver is taking me the wrong way?
I think it's important to challenge your taxi driver if you are concerned that they might be taking you the wrong way. Challenge them about which route they are taking. In most cases, it could be they either know a shortcut or they've actually got lost themselves, so they may able to reassure you early on. If you've got a concern about that, challenge the taxi driver about why they are taking you a certain way and hope you get the reassurance you need. If you have got a mobile phone on you and you are really concerned, I would suggest you phone someone up so the driver is aware that you are in communication with someone else. This again might provide you with some reassurance that they've made a mistake and there's nothing more innocent than that.
If my attacker wants me to get into a vehicle, what should I do?
I think if it's got to a position where you're being forced, potentially, into a vehicle, you try to prevent the situation from escalating. You haven't succeeded, and you're now at the point where someone's potentially going to put you in a vehicle. You're at significant personal risk if you do end up getting into that vehicle, so I think at this stage you need to consider, if you can, seriously resisting getting into the vehicle. So, to do that would involve making as much noise as you could and, potentially, if the situation has escalated that seriously, it would involve some form of reasonable defence by resisting that individual and taking all the steps you can to not get into the vehicle.
What should I do if I think I've been drugged on a night out?
If you believe you've been drugged on a night out, you should leave the premises in which you are. You should firstly tell friends, if you're with friends, that you believe this has happened to you so you've got people who you can trust with you when you leave the premises. If you believe that it's somebody within the premises who might have drugged you, tell the barman to insure that they're not doing that to anyone else, and also make sure that you don't leave the premises with that individual. In those circumstances, it could potentially be necessary to call the police, so that the police go to attend the scene and investigate the circumstances around what's happened. If you do leave the premises with people who you can trust, it's important that somebody goes back home with you to make sure that you're well. If you do feel particularly ill or concerned as a result of potentially having been drugged, it's important that you seek out medical advice at the earliest opportunity, which could be either through visiting a doctor or calling a doctor or, in a serious situation, seeking medical advice at Accident & Emergency.