ROBBING HOODS MAY BE AT IT AGAIN

by Jeanne Hambleton © 2008
NFA Leader Against Pain-Advocate

With the growing culture of street crimes, women are feeling more and more vulnerable if they have to work after dark or are coming home alone after an evening with friends.

Every day there seems to be more and more scary stories on the Internet and in the newspapers and ultimately this brings emails warning us to beware, tell all our friends and watch out.

Firstly we should all carry our mobile telephone switched on near the driving wheel when travelling alone at night in case of emergency. Also remember even from your mobile you can call 999 or 112 for help. Emergency calls to 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency where it is not possible to stop safely are exempt from a £30 fixed penalty.

But just to make me feel more insecure when out alone at night, I read this email on a Yahoo local community service and felt I should share it – whatever your views may be when you have read the whole story.

Please pass this notice on. It could save lives.

An important message from the Police

Please pass this along to all the women you know.
This actually happened a few weeks ago on the M3 Fleet services.

It
was early evening and a young girl stopped to get petrol.

She filled her tank and walked into the store to pay for her petrol.
The cashier told her ‘Don’t pay for your petrol yet…..walk around
the store for a while and act as if you’re picking up some other
things to buy. A man just got into the back of your car. I’ve called
the police and they’re on their way’.

When the police arrived, they found the man in the back seat of the
girl’s car and asked him what he was doing. He replied he was
joining a gang and the initiation to join is to kidnap a woman and
bring her back to the gang to be raped by every member of the gang.
If the woman was still alive by the time they finish with her then
they let her go.

According to the police that night, there was a new gang forming here
originating from London. The scary part of this is because the guy
didn’t have a weapon on him. The police could only charge him with
trespassing. He’s back on the street and free to try again.

Please be aware of what’s going on around you and for your family and
friends.

LADIES, you or one of your family and friends could be the
next victim. Please do not discard
this message. It is very important that everyone knows what is happening.

Please be careful when leaving your vehicle and make sure it is
ALWAYS locked to prevent this from happening to you.”

It could happen if your car was left unlocked.

This was followed by another warning – “MET POLICE

Subject: POLICE INFORMATION – ACTUAL SAFETY ADVICE

This first bit is mainly for women, but boys please read it and send
it on to any women you care about. The second bit is a warning to all
of us!

Some sound advice for us all as we all sometimes forget to take our
common sense with us when we go out. This is from Northants Police.

Women…. In light of the recent kidnapping and murder of young women I think it is important to read the following info for your
own safety.

Things women should know to stay safe:

Please take the time to read these pointers. There may just be one or
two you hadn’t thought of. After reading this, forward it to someone you care about. It never
hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

I was also given tips about being attacked –

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your
body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. If a robber asks for your handbag, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it
away from you…. he is probably more interested in your handbag than
you and he will go for the handbag. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER
DIRECTION!

(There is an old saying –Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – in other words do not carry more cash than you need, and only one credit card. Who cares how big your handbag is as long as you have control of your valuables and they are safe at home!)

3. If you are ever thrown into the boot of a car: Kick out the back
tail lights and stick your arm through the hole and start waving. The
driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,
eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their cheque book, or
making a list). DON’T DO THIS! A predator could be watching you, and
this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger
side, and attack you.

5. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE THE AREA.

6. A few notes about getting into your car in a car park: (Hope your chose your parking space carefully near the entrance or in a well lit area)

a) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger
side floor, and check the back seat.

b) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the
passenger door. Most attackers surprise their victims by pulling them
into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

c) Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and
the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest
your car, you may want to walk back into the shop, or work, and get a
guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE
THAN SORRY (And better to be paranoid than dead).

THERE IS MORE ….

1. ALWAYS take the lift instead of the stairs. Stairwells are
horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot.

2. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control
ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in
100 times; and even then, it most likely it WILL NOT be a vital organ.
RUN!

3. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It
may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a
good-looking, well-educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies
of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often
asked “for help” into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when
he abducted his next victim.

4. Another Safety Point:
Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch
the night before last, and she called the police because it was late
and she thought it was weird. The police told her “Whatever you do,
DO NOT open the door.” The lady then said that it sounded like the
baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would
crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, “We already
have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.” He
told her that they think a serial killer has a baby’s cry recorded
and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone
dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had
several calls by women saying that they hear babies’ cries outside their doors when they’re home alone at night.
Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby.

ALL CAR OWNERS AND CAR DRIVERS PLEASE READ

Warning!!!!

Be aware of new car-jacking scheme.

You walk across the car park, unlock your car and get inside. Then
you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift or put into
reverse. You look into the rear-view mirror to back out of your
parking space and you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of
the rear window.
So, you shift the gear stick back into park or neutral, unlock your
doors and jump out of your car to remove that paper or whatever it is
that is obstructing your view.
When you reach the back of your car that is when the car-jackers
appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off!! Your engine
was running, you would have left your purse in the car and they
practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.

BE AWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME THAT IS NOW BEING USED IN
LONDON /MANCHESTER MAKING ITS WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY!!!!! !!!

Just drive away and remove the paper later! It is stuck to your
window and be thankful that you read this email. I hope you will
forward this to friends and family especially to women! A purse
contains all identification, and you certainly do NOT want someone
getting your home address. They already HAVE your keys!!!

JUST BE AWARE AND TAKE CARE IT WILL PROBABLY ARRIVE IN YOUR AREA SOON

It is alleged this warning came from the Force Intelligence Bureau,
Strathclyde Police
So we are warned and if we do not take care it is our own silly fault BUT… with news of all the precautions we women should take when driving alone, comes news from one woman who said, it is all a hoax.

“There is no man out there waiting to get in the back of your car. You are spreading scare stories and you should check these out on Snopes.com – the site to find out if there is any truth when rumour has it,” they said.

Another email said, “re: Warning to all Women.

The details of this hoax can be found on

http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/backseat.asp

It is a variation on an old hoax that has been going round the
Internet for years. I can’t imagine Strathclyde Police would be
best impressed with having their name attached to it!!

Back came a swift reply, “Even if this was all a hoax, surely it is better in this awful day and age to still warn people that these sort of things COULD happen and to just be aware and have some common sense when out alone.”

Further support came from another woman who wrote, “Even if it is a hoax, warning women off the
dangers of being in a car alone is extremely useful.
Perhaps you are safely in your bed at midnight. I am
driving home from work. I have on occasions had cars flash their lights at me
following me down a country lane.

“It is a frightening
experience to go through.
A lot of women think being in theirs cars is safe.
Wonder what you would do if someone got into your car
whilst at a petrol station or at traffic lights and
threatened you.
You must have searched the web for ages to prove me
wrong over this. I was asked to pass this message on
by someone who has had very bad experiences driving
two miles down the road coming home from work in
Bournemouth. All that is said in the e-mail does
happened in this country. Perhaps not yet in
our district. What is wrong with warning people
about the dangers?”

And a mere man added his words of wisdom, “It may be a hoax, but the basic message is well based. If it serves to alert a few people and make them vigilant that has to be a good thing. I, for example, have for many years locked my car at filling stations and when pulled up in traffic at spots like traffic lights.”

This last comment made me smile as I recalled a true story told to me some years ago about a patient with learning difficulties who had a passion for driving other people’s transport.

If he found a car with keys in it, off he would go for a drive, treating the vehicle with care as if it was his own. As you can imagine this passion got him into real trouble when he fancied driving an ambulance and stole this. Perhaps his only saving grace was the comments he left behind in the parked vehicle after running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere. He would leave notes saying that the tappets needed adjusting, or the tyre pressure on the back wheels were too low and he recommended the owner got it looked at. Harmless fun? Well he got his collar felt if you know what I mean.

Since I heard that story – never mind about a man in the back seat – I always lock my car when I go to pay at the petrol station to avoid theft as well as trespassers or rapists.

Do remember if you are driving alone and you are flagged down by what appears to be a police car, unmarked or otherwise, you have every right to drive to a busy, well lit area where you should feel safe, before dealing with the problem. You should report the incident on 999 before stopping or opening your door. If they are genuine police officers they will respect your safety precautions.

It is worth looking at these website – all with differing points of view about safety. Always good to share some sound ideas and good advice.

http://www.edmunds.com/advice/womenfamilies/articles/124632/article.html
http://www.aaroadwatch.ie/tips/women.asp
http://www.herald-journal.com/archives/1999/stories/women.html

Take care and beware. Jeanne


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Folllowing Rick Usher's death in December 2008, at his request in September of that year, I had agreed, as his principal contributor and an experienced journalist, to run the FMS Global News service due to his heavy commitments to music and raising research funds through this avenue. Following his sad and sudden death I hope to continue his work as he would have wished.
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