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Ambush. A surprise attack by persons from a concealed position.  To lie in wait for. 

Many assaults are ambushes.  An attacker comes from a concealed position and surprises his target.  The element of surprise startles, sometimes freezing the victim.  Assailants can be savvy, so we need to take steps to prevent such surprises.

He has some basic habits to develop to deter ambushes. 

Distance and Parked Vehicles.  Try to maintain a minimum of 2 or 3 meters between you and parked vehicles.  Attackers sometimes sit in a vehicle for a random or targeted person to pass, then jump out, often trying to bring the target into his vehicle.  Be especially wary of sliding doors, tinted windows, and idling vehicles (faster getaway for the criminal). 

Distance and Moving Vehicles. Some assailants are driving.  Walking facing traffic undermines their element of surprise.  You can see him slowing down or pulling to the curb.  Also, to continue following you, he needs to repeatedly turn his vehicle around or blatantly drive in the wrong lane – an obvious red flag!

Avoid Areas of Concealment.  Buildings, parked vehicles, trees, underbrush, dumpsters, stairwells, etc…  There are many places an attacker can hide.  Be mindful of potential hiding spots, and allow yourself as much space as possible between you and these spots.  Give yourself the best chance to avoid ambush. 

Reflections.  Busy streets offer shop and office windows.  Some of us might use these reflective services to check out our appearance, but they can also give you a better sense of your surroundings, including behind you. 

Look Ahead.  You don’t want to ignore the immediate vicinity, but look ahead (e.g. a few blocks) in all directions to assess the “bigger picture.” 

Stop and Look.  We are often in a hurry, but it is worthwhile, from time to time, to stop and survey our surroundings.  It is easier to look in all directions.  Also, if someone is tracking you, they see an observant person, aware of their surroundings, difficult to ambush. 

You don’t need to be worried or walk with your head on a swivel.  It is worthwhile, however, to develop the habit of assessing your surroundings. An important part of this is scanning for potential areas where an assailant can hide and initiate his ambush. 

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