Every day we go about our business and at some point we will have been interviewed, the scary thing is you might not even know it!!
Your walking down the street and we all know that the very same streets may have criminal’s of varying kinds ‘working’ on them, you can decide whether it’s a street robber, rapist, pick pocket etc, you think it and they will exist somewhere. I have stated in earlier posts that Criminal’s usually have a set pattern on how they prefer to carry out their work, they want the least amount of publicity, hassle and injury to them.
There are various thoughts on how they select victims and you could speak to 10 different people and get 10 different ideas on how they go about it, they do have a common thread through them albeit they might use different terminology, I have broken the process of victim selection into 3 area’s so that if you can counteract any aspect or influence their decision making then hopefully their attention will be diverted elsewhere, i.e. not involve you.
When a criminal decides that they are going to embark on a crime they generally will stick to area’s they know, in this example they are on their favourite high street, full of shops, alleyways maybe, side streets and people if they are needed for the crime to be committed. When on the street they will be scanning people on the street to see if anyone meets their ‘Job’ specification i.e. Sex, Age, Size, Mobility, Are the single or with a group, Do they look affluent, Do they look like they are paying attention to their surroundings, Have they seen me, Would they recognise me again, Do they have anything of monetry value visible (thus easy to steal), Do they look lost, Do they look like they need help, Do they look like they lack confidence etc etc etc, the list goes on and on.
There are certain things that are beyond our control such as Sex, Age, Size, Mobility however the vast majority of everything else they are looking at we can control, for example even if you don’t know where you are or where you are going walk with confidence andlook like you do know, the same goes with having valuables on show, keep them out of sight. For everything listed above there is something we can do to stop the criminal from ticking all his boxes on our application to be his victim.
Some criminal’s will strike without us knowing and the first thing we know about it is our phone being taken from us and it disappearing down the nearest side street in the criminal’s grubby little hand, if we don’t know we are going to have our phone taken off us we are going to struggle to prevent it hence being mindful of what they are looking for on their checklist hopefully our actions and demeanour stop it getting this far, however some criminal’s will actually talk to you and my first bit of advice is this, if someone attempts to stop you by talking to you (We instinctively stop) carry on walking, by all means talk to them but don’t stop! If you do stop you may have unwittingly got your first tick in the box on page 2 of your application to be a victim.
Some of the common ways that criminal’s assess people for the job and try to generate trust are as follows;
- ‘We are in it together’ “oh, I’m going that way as well”, “Oh, I’m from that area too”, “oh, let me help you with that” etc
- ‘Being charming and nice’ ask yourself why is this person charming me / being nice to me?
- ‘Giving you too many details’ would you go up to someone you don’t know and give them your life story or talk about stuff that isn’t necessary?
- ‘Making you feel like you owe them a favour’ “Since I helped you before can you help me?”, or deliberately provoking a response that plays into their hand for example “You shouldn’t be walking here by yourself” people’s stubbornness gets them into trouble by the person demonstrating that no I am safe here.
- ‘Unsolicited Promises’ If anyone promises anything when there is no apparent reason for it ask yourself why?
- ‘Ignoring the word No’, if you say no mean it, don’t tell someone 10 times you’re not interested, you have in fact talked to them 10 times not once.
Always ask yourself why is this person behaving like this, why are they trying to develop trust, always bear in mind that people who are trying to develop trust on a compressed time scale need to treated with caution, it is no coincidence that some of the behaviours above are akin to a salesperson and that is exactly what they are doing, they are trying to sell themselves to you as someone you can trust.
Right folks this is it, you have either got the job of being a victim or you haven’t, you are going to find out! The criminal isn’t daft, remember this is their ‘job’ they will risk assess whether the risk is balanced against the potential reward but more importantly will they be able to do it with little fuss and little chance of injury, up to this point you might not have realised you was being interviewed however any unwanted physical act whether it be theft, assault etc you will be aware of and unfortunately the criminal is expecting you to be shocked and freeze when they commit their crime, you may have previous skills / knowledge of how to defend yourself, if you do then good on you as most people will learn safety skills after being the victim of a crime as most people believe it won’t happen to me.
In any situation of unwanted physical attention be very vocal, scream, shout etc. Draw people’s attention to what is going on, screaming can actually startle the criminal sometimes, if you have to resort to physical ways of defending yourself then do it, but do it with all your might until that threat has reduced and you can get away. When it has got to the physical stage of the crime which from the initial SCANNING could be seconds, minutes or hours it really is down to chance and damage limitation which it is why it is vitally important to FAIL your interview.