Walking trails in cities
The walking paths in the cities are often fascinating for different sections of the population, offering a scenic route ideal for joggers, walks with the dogs, cyclists and those who are simply looking for a pleasant place to explore and relax perhaps chatting at the phone/smartphone or listening to music on headphones risking to be or become a target without you noticing it or be followed.
However, the safety of trails can be a legitimate concern, since, despite their attractiveness, they can present risks to personal safety.
Before discussing the factors that can make them dangerous, it is essential to understand the concept of the “crime triangle“.
The triangle of crime states that for a crime three elements must occur: desire, ability and opportunity but I advise you to read the post dedicated to this concept that is fundamental to develop an effective self-defense strategy .
Criminals choose their victims with a motive and often look for situations where they can get maximum return with minimum effort and risk.
Therefore, the key to reducing the opportunity to become a victim is to become a difficult target.
Some examples of behaviors that can help reduce the opportunity include:
- Moderate alcohol consumption: Alcohol abuse can impair judgment and perception of danger.
- Avoid dark and isolated areas: Trails with poor visibility and vegetation cover can offer hiding places for criminals.
- Keep doors closed: In residential areas, it is important to keep the doors of the house closed and locked.
- Avoid distractions: Avoid being distracted from mobile phones or other devices while walking or running.
- Be aware: Paying attention to your surroundings and people approaching you can help you spot potentially dangerous situations.
- Bring a torch: In case of walking in dark areas, a flashlight can improve visibility.
- Be prepared: Consider carrying pepper spray or a firearm, always complying with local laws and receiving proper training.
As for walking trails, they become unsafe when presented with the opportunity for a crime. For example, avoiding hiking alone, especially in isolated areas or at unusual times such as late at night, can help reduce your risk.
Finally, it is important to emphasize that the concept of “safe neighborhood” does not guarantee absolute security. Criminals can act anywhere, so it is essential to maintain constant vigilance and take preventive measures wherever you are.
When you need to avoid trails
In the context of mainly urban pedestrian routes, to what extent do they become dangerous?
The answer is simple if you’ve read the post about the crime triangle, become unsafe these walking paths in the city when they are in a state that presents the “opportunity” for a crime to occur.
The main examples are:
- When you are alone: Although there may be others on the path you are walking in case of danger it is not said that they intervene to defend you but it is easier for them to run away and if it is okay they call the police, it is better to stay with someone you know. Make it a habit to visit the isolated trails with friends.
- Isolated areas near the route: avoid vegetation-covered paths with limited visibility of the surroundings. It takes a split second for an attacker to come out of nowhere and hit you before you can react to rob you or drag you off the path to rape you. Remember that someone can see what car you are coming with and rob you of the keys to get your car, or a pole that alerts the accomplice to catch you and rape you, it is not a game.
- Out of hours: Avoid isolated trails at odd times, such as late at night, early in the morning, late at night. Criminals are most likely to choose victims more easily if they know others may not be around.
- The level of attention: you must be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t listen to music on headphones, don’t get distracted by your mobile phone by scrolling through the social feed while chatting, or anything else that diverts your attention from your surroundings and those who approach you.
- Flashlight : although it is convenient to do some activities early in the morning before the day starts or returning from work in the evening, it is a condition especially in certain seasons where it is still dark. Always carry a quality flashlight with you to illuminate dark areas before approaching to see what happens first.
- Armed and aware: accept responsibility for your protection. At the very least, always carry pepper spray with you. Always hold it in your hand, not in your pouch or pocket. If you choose to do so responsibly and with proper training, bring a firearm if your country allows the carrying of defensive weapons.
- Attitude and instinct: If you have a doubt, listen, if you do not feel comfortable about something you have seen or perceived something strange have no doubts, run away, do not worry about your ego or being judged or misjudged.
Avoid a false sense of security
A common mistake is to think that walking paths located in neighborhoods considered “safe” are immune to negative or dangerous events.
This concept is crucial to understand, as where you are is not necessarily a reliable indicator of safety.
Criminals don’t respect geographical boundaries or neighborhood labels, and can strike anywhere, even in places that seem quiet and harmless.
That’s why it’s important to avoid a false sense of security when using walking trails or being in any public environment.
Here are some reasons why this concept is so significant:
- Absence of immune places: No area is completely immune from potential crimes. Even if a community is generally considered safe, this does not mean that it is without danger. Criminals can take advantage of the opportunity wherever they find it.
- Variability of circumstances: Circumstances may change at any time. Even an environment that seems safe during the day may become less secure at night. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a high level of awareness and caution, regardless of the time of day.
- Presence of strangers: Even in places commonly frequented by local residents, there may be unknown people or temporary visitors, some of whom may have malicious intentions. It cannot always be assumed that all individuals are harmless.
- Change in crime: Crime can fluctuate and change over time. Even previously safe communities could experience temporary increases in crime. Monitoring local news and safety information can be helpful in staying informed.
- Maintain caution: Although a neighborhood may have a reputation for safety, it is always advisable to take preventive measures such as avoiding walking alone at night, remaining aware of your surroundings, and following personal safety guidelines.
In essence, the concept of avoiding a false sense of security reminds us that personal safety requires constant vigilance wherever we are.
Even in places that seem quiet, it is crucial to take precautions to minimize the opportunity to get involved in dangerous situations.
Awareness, attention and preparation are key to ensuring your safety, regardless of geographical location.
Street Fight Mentality