Travel Health

How Not to get Mugged

Getting mugged can be a terrifying experience. Faced with someone wielding a knife or gun you suddenly realise that all you’ve ever lived for could be over in a flash. All those hopes, plans and lottery tickets yet to win you a million could all go down the drain if your attacker is so disposed.

Eric Niggs taking a comic view of mugging

Any guide book will tell you to hand over your valuables and not even think of putting up any resistance. The odd thing is, that even knowing that’s the best course of action, you might find yourself fighting back or making a run for it. Hormones take over and it’s the old fight or flight reflex.

So the best thing to do is avoid getting mugged in the first place:

– Avoid streets without lighting as it’s easy for muggers to hide in the shadows.

If in doubt stay away from doorways as they also make good hiding places.

Stick to brightly lit streets where there are people around and spend the extra cash on a taxi if you’re in a dodgy area.

– Muggers are experts in body language and, like any predator, will go for the weak targets. Try to imagine yourself as big as you walk and make sure to keep your head up and pump your arms as you walk. You can even go so far as to have your fists clenched or else walk as though you’re a little crazy and liable to go wild if confronted.

– Don’t wear expensive jewelry, watches or wear a camera around your neck. There’s really no point in advertising your wealth and dressing down makes a lot of sense in cities with a lot of street crime.

– Learn to recognize dangerous neighbourhoods. There will probably be less upkeep on the buildings, graffiti tags on the walls, maybe prostitutes waiting for business and a general rundown feeling to the area.