Tuesday, October 28, 2008

7 Useful items for protection in London

London is a dangerous place. I have heard over 12 stories of muggings in the 9 months I've been here. One guy was waiting for a bus when some hoodies surrounded him and tried to steal his mobile. Another guy was walking down a tunnel. One guy was walking around Leicester Square with his friend...

This is why I have created this list of useful items for protection in London. But first read the law.

The Law on Knife Carrying
the maximum penalty for carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5000
  • it is generally an offence to carry a knife in public without good reason or lawful authority (for example, a good reason is a chef on the way to work carrying their own knives)
  • the maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5000
  • knives where the blade folds into the handle, like a Swiss Army Knife, aren't illegal as long as the blade is shorter than three inches (7.62 cms)

This means I can carry my Swiss Army knife, but it is still dangerous because if the cop says you don't have a good reason to carry it, you can still be prosecuted. I have carried mine since I first bought it in 2006 in Liechtenstein as I backpacked through continental Europe and even when I lived in Toronto and California. Even when I came to London. But someone said it might be illegal and since I'm on a visa, I shouldn't risk it. I have taken up to using a Tesco Club card fob as my keychain so I look cheap and poor. (I'm like a virus with my Tesco Clubcard kinase).

Item #1 for protection in London: Swiss Army Knife
This is your best friend and it's as close as you can get to the feeling of carrying a gun which is awesome. But note you can't intent to use it as a weapon, even for self defense. So I would suggest if you're waiting for a bus or walking in a darken alley, take it out and start shaving an apple with it. Try to make it catch the light and say, "I'm gonna eat you." If running in a park, I suggest hanging it around your neck so everyone sees it.

Item #2 for protection in London: DS LED Flash Light
This is really cool especially if you are out at night. You can use it to find stuff you dropped, point it at cars that are trying to run you down, use it blind bad guys, and of course make scary faces to scare off bad guys. Buy really solid and bright ones that'll burn retinas and will be there for you in life-threatening situations, not the crappy plastic ones. Make sure they're waterproof too. You never know when you might have to dive into a river and hold it with your mouth as you swim to saftey. Also don't buy high quality but non-rechargeable ones. I did once and spent like $13 for each battery...

Item #3 for protection in London: Pepper Spray (for girls) or Mace (for guys)
This is good if you have a purse or a murse. Otherwise, I would not recommend these items because they are not that useful unless you're accosted from in front and given ample time. You also have to make sure that you get it out, uncap it, turn the nozzle the right way, shake it up,etc. which is just stupid. I would rather have something like a grenade that I can take out of my purse and throw it on the ground. It makes a big bang and casts a cloud of smoke allowing you to abscond.

Item #4 for protection in London: Really fast shoes and energy drink
Most bad guys are lazy that's why running is one of your best options. All you have to do is out run them for 58 seconds and you should be fine. So before you enter a school zone or somewhere else that makes your spider sense go berzerk, drink a can of sugar free Redbull or Bawls. Take off da pumps and put on your Usain Bolts. Of course, school kids (most prevalent type of evildoers) are usually in a group making them much more difficult to out run. In this situation, I would suggest complimenting this strategy with Item #6.

Item #5 for protection in London: Communication Device
This is a highly important magical relic that should be kept with you at all times. The most popular speech transference artifact in the town are known as GSM mobile phones. GSM mobile phones can be functional by combining it with a SIM and battery. There are many shops that sell this artifact, however most of these warlocks require you to pledge allegiance for 12-18 months.

Item #6 for protection in London: Decoy
Basically some crap you can drop when it gets hot. Examples: hat, chewing gum wrapper, Oystercard with a negative balance, change, pencils, fat friend who doesn't owe you money, sunflower seeds, CDOs, and any non-iPod mp3 player such as Zune.

Originally I was just going to make a wish list of the items listed above but I couldn't get Amazon's wish list to work so I blogged it. Feel free to buy me anything from the list above, except Swiss Army knife... well I could use a spare. These would be some really nice Christmas gifts. Give the gift of Life.


11/21/2008 Update:
Item #7 found [comments must reach 10 to be unlocked]


Macky said...

damn... you should work for FEMA!

jez said...

made me smile, nice list :)

Anonymous said...

nice list but u forgot one important item you could use to protect yourself which is taser disguised as an iphone.