Recognizing the Signs and Signals of Crime and Danger


Repost from March 2010 

An “Internet friend”, LE colleague and fellow FBINA alum Fred Leland and I were recently discussing a post and video I had authored on Threat Indicators .

Fred is a blogger and the founder of Law Enforcement and Security Consulting, Inc (LESC) and he directed me to an excellent article that he had authored on the subject of threat indicators and the recognition of suspicious activity. It is titled Recognizing the Signs and Signals of Crime and Danger. Here is a short excerpt:

Crime and violence do not just happen. There are signs and signals presented long before the crime is committed or the assault take place. Seeing a man approach you pointing a gun at you, is an obvious sign of danger. A man getting out of a vehicle after being stopped for speeding and angrily demanding to know why you stopped him is a clear sign of high anxiety. When he continues to shout and closes distance with you after repeated commands to get back, is a clear sign of impending attack. After an assault by this man he disengages, goes to his vehicle and retrieves a firearm! The answer to what’s about to take place, based on the context of the situation is obvious. This is a worst case scenario of a person about to inflict deadly force and your orientation, decision and action should be clear.

Obvious signs and signals of crime and danger can be clearly seen to the trained law enforcement and security professional. Yet they all too often go unseen or are seen too late. The most common danger signs experienced, however are subtle feelings, a hunch, you intuitively know something is wrong. The alert observer that listens to his intuition based on facts and circumstances presented at the time can seek advantage and prevent crime and dangerous circumstances from unfolding. The ability to observe these subtle signs and signals and orient to what they are telling you, can give you the clear advantage in dealing with conflict.

I recommend you go and read the article. Fred explains many of the threat indicators I had touched on in my post to greater detail and  he has described some indicators I did not cover. More importantly, he gives the officer tactical guidance in how to deal with these indicators when he/she sees them. Important stuff.

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