How to Survive a Mugging

So you’re suddenly surrounded by a group of people who want your cash, your cellphone, your watch – and they’re not open for negotiation. Violent muggings are on the increase as robbers get more brazen and sometimes more desperate. They are not something that just happen after dark, they can happen anytime and anywhere.

According to Statista, in the year 2017/18 there were 77,103 recorded robberies in England and Wales and even scarier than this, Home Office figures suggest that only 9% of crimes end with suspects being charged or summonsed in England and Wales.

While you can never eliminate danger from your life completely, there are some actions that you can take to reduce your risk of being mugged and–if it happens–give yourself a better opportunity to survive.

It was only about 4 months ago when a group of lads tried mugging me and my partner here in our hometown and although I held my ground and they didn’t get away with anything of ours, I can’t help but keep regretting my decision to stand up to them. It could have got incredibly dangerous and it is something that my partner can’t forget.

So what should you do to survive a mugging?


In order to avoid being mugged you have to first understand how to prevent it from happening in the first place. When you’re mugged, there’s the risk of physical assault leading to injury and death, so prevention is always better than relying on your ability to fight off an attacker.

Here are some tips to help you prevent a mugging from happening:

  • Know the Area – This is especially true if you’re heading into larger cities. A mugger will be on the lookout for certain vulnerabilities and one of those will be people who appear to be lost. This usually indicates someone unfamiliar with the area who can easily be guided into a location that has few onlookers. Always stay on public streets and sidewalks with plenty of people around.
  • Know Where Your Going – When you are walking somewhere, do so with purpose. Don’t run, but don’t dawdle, either. Keep your head up and eyes on your route and always watch out for anyone who shows undue interest in you, or groups of individuals that seem potentially hostile.
  • Practice Situational Awareness – We have discussed this many times here on UK Survival Guides and that is because situational awareness is handy in many different situations. One of the most important active skills to avoid being mugged is understanding how a mugger traps and approaches their victim, then eliminating those risk factors. Don’t cut down alleys or allow yourself to panic and be chased into a dead-end street. If you’re in unfamiliar territory, try not to go alone. Watch for terrain that could hide an attacker, such as bushes or a pile of refuse. If you’re on a familiar route, watch for anything or anyone that seems out of place.
  • Don’t Look Like a Target – The steps above will help to make this possible as a mugger wants an easy target rather than somebody that looks like they know what’s coming. You can also call a friend on a cell phone–as long as it won’t distract you–so they know someone is listening. If you carry a purse or bag, a handheld loosely inside it can imply a weapon; just don’t let it foul your hands if it comes to a confrontation.
  • Be Smart, Not Stupid – If you want the best chance of preventing a mugging, don’t go to unsavory places, with unsavory people, at the wrong times, and act up. If you head out with friends and your drunk, and you leave alone when they take off, singing your way down the alley to your hotel, there’s a pretty good chance your wallet won’t be there when the cops show up. Be smart, not stupid.


If avoiding a mugging didn’t work and it’s now time for “I need to survive a mugging,” then you need to change your tactics. Your focus at this point should be on de-escalation if possible, defense if not. Once a mugging has started, here’s how to make sure you survive.

  • Money is Not worth Your Life – If they ask for your wallet, phone, shoes, or some other possession, give it to them. Whether or not the police can get them back, they aren’t worth your health or life. Listen to the demands and comply unless they further compromise your safety. No amount of possessions that you have is worth putting yourself or your family into further danger.
  • Preparation is Key – It is no good thinking about how to avoid a mugging or defend yourself in an attack if the mugging has already started. It is NOW that you need to do the thinking and NOW that you need to put in the practice to defend yourself, BEFORE it’s needed.
  • Be Heard – If you want to avoid being mugged, it’s important not to draw attention to yourself. However, if somebody is already trying to mug you, you need to draw as much attention to yourself as possible. The more witnesses you can get, the better chance you have of the situation coming to a safe end. As soon as you are aware that somebody wants to attack you, shout for help. If you were on the phone, shout your location and the description of your attacker. If they hesitate, run. Get to people and safety as fast as you can.
  • Look for a Force Multiplier – Once you understand you are going to be mugged, begin scanning your area for a weapon. Bricks, wood, chains, and broken bottles all work as improvised weapons if the need arises. Your weapon of choice may act as a deterrent to the attack itself, but you cannot count on that as a fact. Do not hesitate to use it.
  • Go Into Beast Mode – Hit attackers anywhere they use for breathing or breeding for a quick end to the situation. These areas of the body are sensitive and cannot be toughened up like most other areas. This isn’t an honorable fight. It’s life or death, and there is no forbidden move or illegal target area. Put them down fast and get away faster.

Well, I hope these tips have helped and give you something to think about. Is there anything that you would add to the discussion? Let us hear your thoughts on Twitter so we can add them above.


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