Those of us that watch the news every day will know that across the globe violence and violent crime is on the increase. In recent months, the protests of those in Hong Kong and the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ in France have become increasingly more aggressive with both protesters and police engaging in guerrilla warfare in their respective cities. Add to that the increasing number of mass shootings in the United States, and the increase of violent crime in London, and it paints a bleak picture for all of our futures, and our safety.
There are many reasons why we are seeing more and more of these events, some political, some socio-economical and, of course, ideological differences. But what can we do to protect ourselves against becoming a victim of violent crime?
The English have the phrase my home is my castle. With households carrying an ever increasing and complex amount of technology, they are attractive targets for robbery. But it is that technology that can help to protect your home.
Simple, and relatively inexpensive items such as video doorbells that you can access from your phone, wherever you are in the world, mean that you can give the impression that you are sitting right in your living room instead of being across country at a meeting. These doorbells often have a talk-balk so that you and your caller can converse, like an intercom in an apartment block.
Connected Home systems such as Hive or Phillips Hue or the Google and Apple Home apps are a great way to automate functions for when you are not at home too. Simple steps such as switching on lights, the television or a radio can give the impression there is someone in the house, and therefore not an easy target
On the street
When out and about, be aware of your surroundings. If you don’t know the area, be extra vigilant to changes in mood, atmosphere or the ‘feeling’ of safety. But even when it’s your local high street, be aware of who and what is around you and try to avoid having your phone or wallet out too much, so as not to make yourself a target.
If you work in a profession where needing protection against attack or violence is necessary, such a doorman, police officer or some form of security, for example. You might also consider PPE (or Personal Protective Equipment). It’s not time to drive an armoured truck to the supermarket but exploring the need for a bullet proof vest, for example, might be an idea.
The simple advice for travellers is to check with your local or government level advice before travelling. The British Foreign Office, for example, provides advice for those heading to locations which are considered dangerous. Education is key here, so make sure you know what you are headed to.
Otherwise, similarly to above, keeping yourself aware of where you are and who is around you is key. Don’t carry all your cash with you at one time and don’t flash that fancy jewellery or smart phone too much, and make yourself a walking billboard for theft.
Whatever the solution to the globalised violence that seems to be spreading, looking after ourselves has never been more important. Ensuring our individual wellbeing, we can then look to work together to make the world a safer place for us all.