How to protect yourself against escalating public violence

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Published: Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 04:18 PM.

For the second consecutive year, crimes including assault, robbery, theft, burglary and rape have increased, according to a recent National Crime Victimization Survey published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The two-year ascension ends a two-decade decline.

Violent crimes surged the most – by 15 percent. Perhaps more disturbing, however, is how creative brutality and aggression have become, says Timothy Dimoff, one of the nation’s leading voices in personal and corporate security.

“Society has changed. What once was considered very inappropriate or even taboo behavior is now accepted as the norm – even considered justified by some,” says Dimoff, founder and president of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., which analyzes and overhauls security for large public and private facilities.

“Social behavior, once mostly predictable, has become largely unpredictable. When should you be vigilant? In public and at work – always.”

Dimoff reviews some frightening new trends in random violence, and what you can do to protect yourself against them.

• The “knockout game.” Cell phone videos have captured numerous incidents across the country in which groups of teens and young adults prey on unsuspecting passersby. The “game” is to knock out a stranger with a single blow to the head.

Protective measures: The best way to defend against an ambush is to avoid it. Be aware of your vulnerabilities and take measures to decrease them. The victims in the knockout attacks have been people walking alone and making little or no effort to be aware of their surroundings. Be aware of who’s around you, keep your distance from unknown or strange people, or ask a coworker to walk you to your car.

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