Kidnapped 2 – Basic Advice on Prevention

There are a few very basic procedures you can adopt do to avoid getting into trouble generally, but these are essential if you want to reduce the risk of being kidnapped when travelling or working anywhere a little dodgy.

More people create problems for themselves in life simply by being too flash. Any security advisor worth his salt will tell you that appearing conspicuously wealthy in a poor area will attract trouble like flies to a cow pat. Bearing in mind that wealth is always relative, just bear in mind that you don’t have to leave your home country to cause yourself problems by not taking this little gen of advice!

Much of the advice for staying safe revolves around moving from A to B, as this is the time when you are most vulnerable and thus when you are more likely to be snatched.

Here are a few billy basic tips.

Lower your profile, so you don’t stand out. Don’t go round in big shiny vehicles – muddy them up, and get local plates if you can. If you are David Beckham employ loads of bodyguards and hope that they are up to the job. Big bloke does not mean good bloke.

Try to time your approach to traffic lights so you don’t have to actually stop. Easier said than done a lot of the time I know but…..
If you do have to stop always keep enough space between vehicles, so that you are never “sandwiched” between two cars and cannot escape. Apart from anything else it is good road craft. Just remember if you can see the wheels of the car in front of you then you have enough space to manoeuvre round them and get out of trouble should you need to.

Do not stop at accidents unless you are in an area with lots of people. I know this sounds harsh and sad but by friend “in need” can vouch for this piece of advice.

Do not allow patterns to creep into your daily life even more so when living in risky areas. It is easy to not realise how many patterns or routines we get into – you get up, have some toast a shower and leave the house at the same time. Bingo, before you know it your life is 90% the same. Apart from not being good for your mental well being it can create a security risk in some circumstances.

Avoid leaving home or the office at the same time each day and vary your routes are just a few basic common-sense pointers.

Taxis are often quoted as a potential personal security risk for very good reason. This applies to women on their own as well as for travellers abroad. Always use a legitimate company, and try to avoid travelling from airports in the middle of the night and never get into a car with more than one person. Yeah, I know there are romantic comedies where bloke shares cab in NY with woman and they fall in love blah blah, but that’s make believe and I am afraid I am talking about real life. Sorry.

If you are in a taxi and the driver wants to take someone else or another person gets in uninvited, you might have to be very un-British by making a fuss. If the driver stops to let someone in, you should get out, pronto, I mean fuck it, you are in charge of your personal safety in these places and if the cabby doesn’t like it, well, that’s his tough shit.

WHAT IF……..?

If the worst happens and you are snatched, the most dangerous moment will be the “hit” or the “ambush” or if a rescue is mounted. It will come as no surprise to anyone, but this is when everyone especially the baddies are filled with stress and fear. People do daft things under stress.
At that moment your best and only option is to just go along with it and not try to run or fight. Best to be a live coward than a dead hero. Keep your savey and stay a live, try to be a hero and stay dead the choice is yours.

Avoid becoming a statistic by just being well aware of the risks – no matter how experienced a traveller one is, this is the best tool to possess against kidnapping. Please always bear in mind that if someone really wants to get you they probably will.

However often the kidnappers won’t necessarily want you personally, it is nothing personal, they are just going for the easiest target.

Even as you reading his article, someone is sitting in camp somewhere saying ‘right oh lads, we need to abduct someone”

Don’t let it be you.

4 Responses to “Kidnapped 2 – Basic Advice on Prevention”

  1. John Humphries says:

    I am due to go to Port Harcourt either this month or in September on business. I have been given a brief leaflet on security, and told that it was just a formality, but should I be concerned?

    Is there anything else I can do to make my stay safer?

  2. I wish I’d known a few of these things back in the day.

    My last teaching job was arrived at after all the other teachers in the school had been ambushed and shot…
    One road in, one road out.
    In the middle of nowhere.

    Horrible place.
    Loved it.

  3. Uncle says:

    JH – I dont like being the voice of doom but you are going to a tricky neck of the woods. However if you are sensible you should not encounter any problems. I have sent you an email with a lot more detail in it. Your firm should be giving you some training on this and I would ask them what security measures they have in place. Come back to me by email and we can chat it all through.

    Minx – sounds like a lively place you were at. Was that in Malaysia per chance?

  4. West Papua…
    It was in the news but hushed up in a really bad way.

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