The recent suspected terrorist attack on London Bridge demonstrated how fearless members of the public used their initiative, reacted selflessly and risked their lives to prevent, what could have been, a more serious situation.  It appears the public are growing tired of individuals who want to cause harm and are taking matters into their own hands.  This is not always the safest course of action and not one that should be encouraged, each situation is different but if you are backed into a corner and your only option is to fight, react immediately and commit to the offensive.

Improvised Weapons are Effective

The London Bridge attack proved that  improvised weapons can be effective against knife crime. Reacting quickly and using whatever means necessary to eliminate the threat worked well in this incident.  The use of a fire extinguisher, a wooden lectern and a whale tusk helped to distract and defend against the attacker until the police arrived.  These individuals had no other option but to fight, they were willing to risk their lives for the safety of others.

What’s available to you will depend on your location.  For example, if you are in a bar or restaurant, or within the vicinity of one, using high-chairs or bar stools will provide a safe distance between you and the attacker whilst forcing them in the opposite direction.  The important thing to remember is that you need to  adapt quickly to your situation, no one plans for an attack, but if it comes down to your life or theirs, do what you need to do to defend yourself.

If you decide to run, ensure you know what you are running into, are you running towards or away from the threat?  No one knows how they will react until they are in that situation and not everyone wants to fight.  The worst thing you can do is nothing, react immediately, even if it’s to hide or phone the police, the sooner you have support in the area the more chance there is of survival. Check out our video on how to survive a terrorist attack here.

When Not to Fight

The recent incident in Buenos Aires, Argentina where a family were the target of an armed robbery, resulting in one death, highlights when it’s important to walk away and not fight.  No one wants to give up their belongings to a stranger, especially if they have sentimental value but it’s the safest option.  Yes, there have been stories of individuals fighting back and being successful but is it worth the risk?  This incident demonstrates how gangs abroad are not afraid to use violence, they will target tourists who appear wealthy and look unsure of their surroundings, therefore being discrete with your valuables and blending into your local environment is so important.

If you are ever unfortunate enough to be in a similar situation, always comply with the criminal, they are not terrorists and the vast majority will want your valuables and then leave.  Always look for escape routes during the interaction, and if the incident escalates drop your valuables and run. If you complicate a robbery or mugging, you will most likely come off worse. Remember,  there’s a good chance the incident will be caught on CCTV and your items could possibly be returned, if not your insurance should cover most of the cost…Don’t’ take the risk.

Travel Security Training

Travel security training is one of the key components of a secure travel risk management program. We provide travellers with the skills and knowledge to take ownership of their personal safety.

Please visit to learn more about how we can help you stay safe in new environments.