Understanding the crime triangle is fundamental in developing an effective strategy for self-defense. Three things must be present for a crime to occur: desire, ability and opportunity. If any one of these is removed from the triangle a crime cannot take place.
Obviously we cannot control criminals. There will always be those with the desire and ability to carry out crimes. What we can control is the opportunity. With a little knowledge, we can make ourselves hardened targets and take the opportunity away from criminals.
Before we further discuss the crime triangle let’s take a look inside the criminal mindset. Very rarely do criminals commit crimes that are completely random. Victims are usually chosen for a reason. They may display a weakness, be easily manipulated or may simply be in a secluded area with no help in sight. Criminals like the highest return for the least amount of effort and risk.
Now that we know what criminals look for at a high level it becomes more clear how we can deny them the opportunity to commit a crime against us. Simply put, we must make ourselves hard targets. We must strive to avoid situations and circumstances that present an opportunity to those wanting to do us harm. There are infinite ways to do this:
- Don’t consume excessive amounts of alcohol
- Avoid dark, secluded areas
- Keep your doors locked
- Avoid distractions (cell phones)
- Keep your gas tank filled
Use the examples above to start the thought process. Analyze your daily activities and make yourself a hard target by removing opportunity from the crime triangle.