We live in a less- than- ideal world where crime is a given. Every day there are reports of break- ins, hijackings, murders, rapes and a million other crimes that make us fear for ourselves and the lives of our loved ones. Among these, mugging is a crime highly prevalent in urban areas and statistics show that there is a 34.5% chance of mugging in Australia. While the correct way to address this issue is to explore the root causes of mugging and ways to prevent it, this is a long- term solution; in the short term, there are certain steps we can take to avoid being mugged.

Avoid Darkness

It sounds melodramatic, but darkness does attract evil- but for purely logistic reasons. In the dark, perpetrators can remain unrecognizable and invisible, gaining an element of surprise with which they incapacitate their targets. It also draws less attention among bystanders, so you may struggle but will not be seen by anyone, allowing them a quick getaway. Therefore, always walk in lighted areas. If a section of your road is unlighted, carry a powerful pocket torch a swing it into the nooks and crannies as you walk past. And walk fast; it is not a good idea to dawdle in semi- lighted street corners while listening to music.

Careful Where You Park

Parking lots, whether every day parking or long term parking is a heaven for muggers because they are generally deserted, badly lit and have rows and rows of cars among which they can escape. Long term parking lots are also targeted by muggers because people parking in a lot will generally be driving alone – they are going to or from work and are thus easy targets.

Long term parking in Perth airport is particularly vulnerable in this regard because of its proximity to airports, bus terminals and other sites of transport: people who are on the way to or coming back from a trip will have more money and valuables on their person than the average pedestrian, and also be distracted by the thought of an impending/ completed trip. Thus, they too become easy targets for muggers. Be doubly- alert when you park your vehicle and whenever possible, try to walk in two’s or three’s. If nothing else, ask a security guard to escort you to your car, particularly if you’ve parked in a dim- lit area.

Avoid Aggression

9 times out of 10, muggers tend to avoid physical injury when they rob a target. They will threaten violence, but will not use it unless they have to. The reason is two- fold: without physical injury, there is less chance that they will be chased, or even that the victim will report it to the authorities. Also, in the event that they are caught, muggers will mostly be penalized for theft, not aggravated assault, which in most countries carries a heavier penalty. Knowing this, it is better to simply comply with a mugger’s demands than fight back. This is a counterintuitive move, and our brains and bodies will immediately fight back when threatened, but by being smart, you can avoid injury to your person. Nothing in your bag or purse is worth your life. Or worse, the life of the person you love.