Tips to avoid violent thieves

février 01, 2018

As foreigner, you are an easily locatable prey and the misunderstanding of the places which you visit increase your exposure at the risk of aggression.

There are two types of aggression:

– Aggression of opportunity: it is an unpredictable aggression dependent on the context and the possibilities given to the aggressor. Except in certain places and certain areas, it is difficult to identify preventivly the context of this type of aggression. It bases mainly on the surprise and it is the possibility and the temptation given to the aggressor whoich involves the misdeed. The attitude and the behavior of the assaulted person can also be a triggering factor.

Targeted aggression: it is a prepared, deliberate and strategic aggression. A preliminary targeting allows the aggressors to prepare their misdeed by following and by observing the potential victim, by spotting its habits, schedules and daily routes.


How to avoid an aggression and recognize an aggressor :

– Pay attention to your positioning in the street. Favor main roads and streets lit well at night.

– Avoid the assemblages of people which you could cross.

– Wonder, during your travels, which is the most likely danger and which is the safest shelter.

– Make a rational use of the ground where you are situated. Observe the possibilities of exit. If you are in a closed place, a bar or a restaurant for example, spot where are the various exits. If you are in the street, avoid areas where it would be easy to isolate you. Verify the areas where you could be surprised on your route.

– Do not adopt an attitude and victim’s posture, do not refuse eye contact and adopt a behavior of self-confidence. The behavior of the victim often conditions the aggression.

– Avoid moving with valuables and visible signs of affluence.

– Be discreet when you go out of some money and avoid paying with big rolls of bills. Distribute your money in various pockets.


In case of aggression, the thing the most natural to make is to flee. In this case, favor :

– A crowdy area. People around you can dissuade an aggressor to follow and attack you, considering the risks which he takes and potential witnesses.

– To take refuge in an institutional area or a zone of safety, as a police station, fireman’s barracks, a building of State, a shopping mall with security guards, etc.

– If your aggression takes place at night, look for a enlightened place and favor the big avenues.


During an aggression, the communication and the dialogue with the aggressor can allow to reduce the tension and to lower the spiral of the aggressiveness. If there is an exchange with your aggressor :

– Try to master as far as possible your fear. If during the dialogue your aggressor feels your fear, he will use it as psychological asset. Do not forget that your stress surrounds your reasoning.

– Look at your aggressor but do not fix him. Your look towards your aggressor does not have to show of mistrust, either shifty. An eye contact can calm the tensions.

– Look for the motivation of your aggressor. Why does he assault you? What is its purpose? Try to establish a dialogue around these motives.

– If your aggressor is armed, raise hands and speak calmly. Explain every movement you make to answer his demands. Avoid abrupt movement.

– Do not shout. In situation of aggression, the stress is mutual. Your aggressor is also in an unusual context and you should not foresee his reactions. A shout can make him lose control and give him a reason to assault you physically. An aggressor can also be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he could react unpredictably.


During the aggression, if dialogue or leak are not possible, you should limit  the duration of your aggression :

– Give to the aggressor for what he asks you. Your tangible or financial assets are only few things compared with your physical integrity.

– If your aggressor begins to strike you, try as far as possible to protect the vital parts of your body, in particular the head and the nape of the neck. Try to get free and try to find help.

– Avoid laying on the ground. You will be the most vulnerable in this position.

– In an isolated space, shout if nobody helps you.

– If you are in a collective transport, pull the alarm signal if your aggressor is still in the train.

After the aggression :

– If you can, do not stay on the place of the aggression. Find a public place where to take refuge.

– Warn the police : call 112 or the closest police station.

– Warn your local contact in the country. He can help you to appreciate the situation and to evacuate a part of the stress engendered by the event which you have just undergone. If you have no local contact, you should warn your hotel.

– Warn your embassy. It can give you useful recommendations according to the country where you are. If your administrative documents were stolen, they can help you to redo them.

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