“Stop-n-Rob” Safety, and Risk Assessment

Ben Branam at Modern Self-Protection has a great post up about avoiding robbery at convenience stores, which he refers to as “Stop-n-Robs”. This is not far from the truth – “convenience store worker” is consistently among the more dangerous jobs out there. Especially for night shift workers. I know a woman who used to work in such a place who was raped and stabbed by a would-be robber early one morning. Robberies are commonplace, and I know of at least one shooting locally that took place in such a store.

I especially liked Ben’s suggestion to play the “what-if” game.He explains:

Think about someone coming in to rob the place and what you would do.  For those of you new to this game, you aren’t the super hero, think about how you can escape and/or keep the robbery from getting violent.  If someone robs the place and gets away with the money, it’s still a win for you.  Don’t get hurt.  The first rule of any violent encounter is for you and your family to get home.  Everything else is a distant second.

This is a great technique, and one I use often to sharpen my perception and awareness. When you go somewhere, try to see the situation from the viewpoint of a would-be criminal. If you were a robber, how would you approach this bank? If you were a rapist, where would you hide in order to be able to blindside a passing jogger? If you were a burglar, where would be the best place to approach the house without being seen? Thinking about things in these terms can help you see the danger spots, but it also encourages you to be aware of your surroundings – and the potential tactical situation if something happens.

I especially encourage you to read Ben’s post because he does a great job of walking you through how to do this assessment, step by step. Learning to see a situation from the criminal’s standpoint is a valuable tool, and it’s one I encourage you to add to your arsenal. Remember, the best tool you have for staying safe is your own internal “software”, so take advantage of the chance to exercise it whenever possible.

Photo credit: stock.xchg

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