Steve Drake, the self-defence instructor and security training manager at Magpie Security in Nottingham, the SIA-approved guarding contractor, writes about purse snatching, and what to do about the risk.
One way to prevent purse snatching is not to carry a purse, or to carry it in a way that makes it quite inaccessible, such as wearing something over the top of it. Many women think that wearing a shoulder bag with the strap diagonally across their body is a good idea but, in fact, if someone grabs the purse in that position and tries to run with it, it can catch the strap around your neck. Keeping your purse close to your body and your arm over it makes it a little harder for someone to grab the purse.
Also, being aware of who is around you is very important. Some people think it’s better to just allow the snatcher to take your purse to protect their life. We can’t say yes or no to this state of mind. That’s a decision that you have to make on the spot, and that decision is influenced by a lot of factors. If the person is trying to injure you to get the purse, you have the right to defend yourself to protect against being harmed.
If you decide that you want to fight for your purse, you should know how to fight and you should make sure that your attacker is not armed. You might reduce your anxiety about this crime by taking advance steps to minimise its impact, such as not carrying much cash, making sure you have copies at home of the favourite photos you carry, and knowing the procedures for reporting stolen credit cards. If you have taken these precautions, it might be easier to give up the purse without a fight.
Understand that you could be the victim of a violent crime anywhere at any time. Think about what you would do in a certain situation (answering your front door, driving home, taking money out of an ATM). Assess your surroundings. Understand that most sexual predators and street criminals plan their crimes (at least to some extent), most also look for certain characteristics that make for good targets. It is safe to assume that the assailant has been watching you for a while before he initiates the attack. Act confidently and be aware of your surroundings.
The bottom line is that you have to be proactive when deciding to take action against someone who wants to hurt you. Women are at risk more than men. Women don’t have to be the weaker sex. Women can be strong and effective. It just takes a changed mind-set as well as some easy defensive techniques to protect yourself against a person who wants to hurt you. Don’t be a victim. Learn now