Common Carjacking & Other Vehicle Assault Methods

Carjacking remains a serious threat in many developing countries.  For our purposes in this post we will broaden the definition of carjacking and consider not only forcible theft of the vehicle but also armed robbery of the vehicle’s occupants and/or kidnapping.  This may bother some purists as technically carjacking is meant to infer the theft…

Devil’s Breath & The Ativan Gang

An alarming trend that has been occurring in different places around the world is the use of drugs in facilitating crimes like robbery, sexual assault and kidnapping.  These incidents have occurred in locations as varied as Colombia, the Philippines and India. While most Americans may be aware of the use of drugs such as Rohypnol…

Express Kidnapping

Express kidnapping – also sometimes called lightening kidnapping – is a prevalent crime in much of the developing world.  While is particularly common in Latin America it occurs globally – I am personally aware of incidents in locations as diverse as Kazakhstan and China. Tourists and business travelers are much more likely to be victims…

Time + Place Predictable

One of the main factors to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of a targeted attack is to not be time and place predictable.  This is especially true for “at-risk” personnel who are more likely to be specifically targeted.  What do I mean by at-risk personnel?  These are people that because of their profile,…

Surveillance Detection & Personal Security – Part 2

When using surveillance detection principles as part of your personal security program there are two levels that can be used: passive and active.  In an active program you would design an implement surveillance detection routes (SDR) that include preplanned stops and movements designed to cause anyone that might be following you to inadvertently expose themselves. …

Overview of Surveillance Detection for Personal Security

Most attacks, robberies, kidnappings, sexual assaults and other forms of personal, confrontational crime occur after a period of observation and target selection.  This can range from a period of weeks or months (or in rare cases even years) in the case of terrorist attacks to less than a minute or two  in cases of a…

Cooper’s Colors

No discussion of awareness would seem complete without a mention of Cooper’s Colors.  Originally publicly introduced and propagated by retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jeff Cooper.  Cooper was the founder of American Pistol Institute, later called Gunsite and was an early proponent of combat handgunning.  In his book Principles of Personal Defense Cooper outlined four levels…

Thoughts on Situational Awareness

Situational awareness is the under-appreciated and in fact sometimes unappreciated element of personal security.  Of all the things a person can do to keep themselves safe the most important and in fact most fundamental is to be aware of their surroundings and what is happening in their environment.  This in conjunction with a basic understanding…