Thursday, April 26, 2007

S.I.V.A. Cont.

So far we've dealt with Selection and Isolation when it comes to a criminal's modus operandi. The next step in the attack sequence is the "Interview" or "V" for Verbal.

This is again used in different ways by different criminals. Sexual predators for example will typically say something lewd and, judging by their potential victims reaction, decide to go to the next step. If the victim is shocked, blushes, looks down or gets flustered she's the ideal victim. If instead she reacts with eye contact, a confident voice and a put down then he's going to backpedal and find someone else. Typically they're looking for someone they can control and dominate, not someone who's going to put up a fight and displays confidence.

Criminals intent on violently attacking something will engage in innocuous dialogue designed to befuddle the victim or, alternatively, put them off their guard while they get into range. The old "Do you know how to get to...?" or "Excuse me mate, have you got change for a five?" will typically be used to mask their approach.

Con men will engage in a whole stream of patter designed to dupe their victims out of whatever it is the conman is after but, just like the two other criminal types, they've still gone through the steps of selecting their victim and isolating them.

Role playing is critical in dealing with all of the above. Female students of self protection need to practice so they're not shocked when the "interview" turns explicit. Potential mugging and robbery victims need to learn how to deal with the patter as the potential attacker moves in to the kill zone, and the elderly and the gullible need to familiarize themselves with the types of scams that are out there so they recognize them when they hear them.

PS: My friends wife works for one of the mobile phone companies. Tonight she told us a client came in to cancel his phone as he'd just been robbed in a popular up scale shopping center. Guess what he told her? Yep, you guessed it, "He came out of nowhere." Damn I wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard that line. (for those who don't know what I'm talking about find one of my early blogs on Merlin the Magician.)

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