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Visual Awareness is Key!

Visual awareness may save your life

We all know about the unacceptable levels of crime in South Africa, a murder every 25 minutes (Afghanistan’s murder rate is 13 times less), a rape every 26 seconds, grievous bodily harm cases over 500 per day. We need to face up to the reality of life and avoid becoming a victim. But how do we do so while striking a balance so we can have a life – The solution, use your eyes and be sensible but not paranoid.

A blonde woman applying lipstick while driving
Above: A Crime Volunteer – This lady is oblivious to her surroundings while stopped at a traffic light

The central key to this is not weapons or alarms; it’s seeing the threat before an attack occurs. Virtually all attacks are preceded by some form of surveillance, as I always say, contrary to popular belief, these people don’t ‘come from nowhere’ we just don’t pick up the signs. Take a very obvious threat, cash in transit vehicles, they are big, white, with armed men walking around, how many of us notice any of this and try to avoid them so as not to be caught up in a robbery? I have literally seen mothers with children having a chat in front of one!

We need to box cleverer than that.

It’s not necessary nor is it desirable to live your life in a paranoid state. So if we take levels of awareness from 1 to 5, 1 being an attack has commenced, and 5 being totally unaware, we want to be at a level 4 – aware of your surroundings but relaxed, I like to equate it to a defensive driving mind set. By being at level 4 you are in a more receptive state and ‘soak up’ your environment.

Even if you don’t pick up everything, just by appearing to be observant is positive, as criminals would much rather have an easier target.

For example, when stopped at a robot don’t look down and check your whatsapp messages, be alert, look around you and let anybody close by see that you are looking at them, with a non-aggressive blank type expression. Let them know that you know they’re there. Keep people away from your car by giving a firm hand signal to stop, you will find most will heed it (many will appreciate it) thereby lowering the number of people you need to keep an eye on.

If you’re by yourself and you want to use a legitimate car guard to help with your groceries choose one, keep anyone else back with a firm hand signal and a ‘no thanks’ and you keep your eye open while the goods are loaded, if you are with someone else, do the same routine.

Distance gives you time.

So keep people back, if they are on top of you it’s all over if their intentions are bad.

By Richard Schagen – Assessed Threat Solutions



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