When Is It Safe To Shoot

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This is something that many South Africans don’t know the answer to but The Panda is here to help. There has always been such confusion over whether or not it is safe to defend yourself during an attack, and let’s face it, someone trying to hijack you – is a damn terrifying!

So here are a few things you have to consider:

  • The attack must be unlawful. You cannot – I repeat – can’t – want to go Kung – Fu on the checkout girl just because she squashed your loaf of bread while packing your groceries! Logic is key here.

  • The attack must be imminent or have started. You cannot claim self-defence just because you think it is going to happen. It must actually be happening.

  • The attack must not have been completed. You cannot act on grounds of self-defence for an attack committed an hour earlier – that’s just silly and looking for trouble!

  • The defensive action must be directed against the attacker – please don’t go and attack an innocent bystander by accident.

  • The defensive action must be proportionate to the circumstances. So you cannot go and shoot someone just because they bumped into you at Checkers or took the last sushi platter at the deli. The value of the property involved and the item used for attack are important considerations. So basically fight fire with fire. Not fire with bulldozers. Play fair!

If you do not have any form of weapon and you are tied with a zip tie take note of these 3 methods: 

how to escape zip ties

It's a good idea to practice these to be prepared at all times.

It is always advisable to know how hijackers work. Knowing this can often come in handy when keeping vigil whilst driving. Knowing what to look for can more often than not help you avoid a possible attack.

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Hijackings: Know How Criminals Work!

  • Green light at a red light! –Hijackings take place while stationed at any traffic sign or intersection.
  • The call cannot be that important! - Hijackings take place while stationary next to the road, e.g. to answer cell phone.
  • Home safe yet? – Most hijackings take place in the driveways of residential areas. These hijackers prefer areas with accessible escape routes.
  • Bumper cars!- The hijackers sometimes use a vehicle to force the victim off the road.
  • At the drop off point – Hijackings take place at schools when dropping off / picking up children.
  • Idle hands – idle thoughts – Hijackings take place while the vehicle is idling when off-loading / loading passengers.
  • For sale! Not for free! – Hijackings take place when advertising your vehicle for sale (Test drive method).
  • Cops and robbers – Bogus Police or Traffic Officers also conduct hijackings (Blue light scenario).
  • Hide and seek – Hijackings also occur at post offices and parking areas or you may be followed leaving the filling station with the objective to hijack your vehicle where it is quiet.

It is said over and over, you need to be smart, be vigilant, and know your surroundings and those around you. Let people know where you are and when to expect you. Never drive the same routes home and if you have a bad feeling, rather take a safer route or drive around the block a few times to be sure you are safe. 

So now that you know when to defend yourself and how criminals hijack, make sure your car insurance provider isn't overcharging you on your premium.
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