Potential Hostile Encounters, Running and Exit Strategies

Potential Hostile and / or Getting caught when running

  • Step 1: Be semi-hysterical when first caught. Panic, and be afraid. Freak out
  • Step 2: Calm down when security identify themselves. Calm down rapidly, and with massive sighs and clutching of the hand to the chest. Make it clear you were expecting the worst by your body language.
  • Step 3: Talk to the security team and explain immediately that you didn’t recognise them as security, and that you were scared by them, but now they’re here, you feel much better. Apologise. Apologise a lot for having panicked and having made them chase you around.
  • Step 4: Be pleased to see them. Concede social ground to them by explaining how you freaked out, you were scared, but they’ve made you feel safer. Security has two purposes – to secure an area, and to provide a sense of safety to the staff working in that area. Acknowledge they’ve provided you with a sense of safety now you’ve realised who they are.
  • Step 5: Apologise
    • Be reasonable.
    • Be apologetic.
    • Be embarrassed as hell.
    • Play to their sense of pride as those who serve and protect
    • Build on the newly acquired understanding that you were scared, and they’re the protectors and now it’s much better and much safer.
  • Step 6: Social Engineer your way to freedom
  • Step 7: Have a better plan for next time.

In the times I’ve been chased by security, this has worked for me in the past where I’ve explained the security guys that I was scared, and I reacted the way advised in the campus/employee/student safety manual. Despite me being absolutely in the wrong, the security guards have usually apologised to me for the misunderstanding.

 

Exit Vector Planning

Even if what you’re doing is legal, if you’re working in a team, plan your strategy and stick to it.

  • Are you in a group?
    • Forget running unless you’ve preplanned your escape route together
    • Pairs, trios, four person squads. Divide, plan, and be able to improvise.
    • Talk it through with the team. Know your role, and be ready to hold your ground or run together.
  • Are you relying on a group member to get you out?
    • Sticking together whilst outrunning guards is harder than it looks, and the temptation to separate to make more targets for the security is strong when running at pace
    • Do you go back for one of your own?
    • Do you abandon everyone to their own devices?
  • Are you running solo
    • Do you know your way out?
    • Can you get to an alternate exit?
    • Are you sure you can get away?
  • What about the equipment ?
    • It will weigh you down if you need to run
    • It has your fingerprints on it
    • It may even have your name on it.
    • Dropping equipment will leave evidence behind
    • You paid money for it, and you’ll definitely never see it again if you have to drop it to run.
  • Runtime Strategy
    • Run for somewhere that isn’t your car.
      • Get away first, then go back for your transport
      • Licence plates can be found, tracked and generally used to hunt you down, especially if you have been trespassing.
      • If your car is parked legally, you can leave it for a few hours, and wait for the heat to die down before you go back for it.
      • Get a friend to pick it up and drive it off (so long as that friend wasn’t running offsite with you)
    • Have a designated meeting point and a meet there.
      • Don’t go back in unless you’ve established the plan to go back for each other, or surrender together.
    • Remember: The slowest runner is the speed of the fastest runner if you’re in a group. There are no point scouts, rear guards or any other positions. There’s just caught and uncaught.

Hostile Encounter (in the wrong, and needing to leave)

  • Don’t run unless you’ve planned an exit strategy
    • Only run if you are 100% certain you’re going to get away.
    • Running is taken as a sign of guilt.
      • Of course, if you’re guilty, that’s entirely your fault.
      • In which case, run. Run like hell. Plan or no plan, if you’re sufficiently dumb to have gone into somewhere without a plan, and are doing something criminal and jail worthy, you’re not going to be the type to listen to advice. Just run and hope.
    • You may as well bet on the above social engineering strategy if you can’t guarantee an escape
  • Personal Factors to consider when planning to run…..
    • Fitness
    • Speed
    • Local knowledge of the location
    • Do the guards have backup? radio? Cars? Police support?
      • If they can call in support, speed is not remotely useful
      • If you’re somewhere new, you will get lost. They won’t get lost as easily since they work there.
  • Terrain Factors
    • Broken ground is not your ally
      • Sprained ankles mean getting caught and being in pain.
      • You won’t have time to look carefully while running and trying to calculate an escape
    • Flat ground is easier for you
      • It’s also easier for cars, bikes and security to use when they chase you.
    • Stairs
      • Going up stairs gets you away from vehicles, although this relies on you having somewhere upstairs to go (either horizontal or vertical again)
      • Stairs can trap you into a blind alley or against a locked door, or onto a landing or walkway.
      • Going down stairs gets you away from cars and bikes so long as it doesn’t lead to a closed door or gate. Then you’re trapped in a fixed location.
    • Right angles
      • Rapid turns beat cars.
      • Multiple right angle turns don’t help as you end up back where you left security
  • Calculating the exit strategy on the fly is not possible.
    • If there’s time to debate, there’s time to walk out calmly.
    • If you can’t quietly and calmly walk away, you can’t rationally plan an escape.
    • Social engineering is easier when you’ve got a lungful of air to use to explain yourself.

Operation #TrebuchetList now in order…