Most of us know to have our situational awareness game on point while visiting unfamiliar areas, but what about familiar places? Places where normally there is little or no crime? Places that have security guards? Places like the mall? Yes, the shopping mall is familiar, but is it safe? The truth is that criminals see malls as soft targets: with the vast parking lots, people carrying extra bags that make them vulnerable, and the constant parade of people more interested inter Facebook status than their immediate surroundings…. it is actually a crime rich environment, despite all of the security cameras and guys on SEGWAYS with a badge.
Here are our 2 TOP TIPS while shopping at the Mall:
1. Situational Awareness
Be aware at all times – where you are, who is around you and what is going on. Get an idea of the the layout of the mall before you start shopping, and become familiar with the exits. Have an actual plan for a meeting place should you become separated with your friends or family. Lastly, keep you heads up, off the phone, ESPECIALLY in the parking lots. Walk confidently and avoid wandering aimlessly, most bad guys avoid people that APPEAR AWARE OF THEIR SURROUNDINGS!
2. CARRY A GUN
Get properly trained and refuse to become a victim. You have the right to protect yourself, and no one is going to warn you the day that they are going to attack you that it is coming. It is up to you to be prepared and armed. Even if you choose not to carry a firearm, there are plenty of alternatives that will give you a fighting chance, from TASER to Tactical pens and Pepper Sprays.
When traveling to the mall or any other public place, keep in mind that in many of these places you can become a soft target very easily: an unsuspecting shopper busy fiddling with bags, keys, cell phones, and other distractions. Take these tips above and get an advantage on the streets, one that many of the bad guys will avoid.