EDITORIAL – This element of surprise


. . . I wasn’t fighting for the phone. I am instinctively an aggressive person, and if somebody hit me I would hit them back. That is my actual response. I?suppose it is not the way to do things these days, but I?fought back because he was in my space. – Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner.
OUR?POLICE WARN that if you are pounced upon by a robber, there are some things you just don’t do.
First, you are not to resist. You will cooperate. You will give the criminal whatever he asks for: your jewellery, your wallet or purse – and, yes,  BlackBerry.
Your life is much more valuable; and, on top of it, you can replace the stolen items.  You will not have another life – apart from that possibly in the hereafter.
Secondly, you do not make any sudden and unexpected moves. An armed and agitated criminal may think you are going for your weapon.
Thirdly, you ought not to attempt calling the robber’s bluff, especially if he is sporting a gun or a sharp-edged knife.
Fourthly (and probably it should have been your first thought), don’t you try being any hero – especially to impress your spouse.
Lastly, whatever you do, call the police (hopefully, you can).
Except for the last, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner did none of the above, if we shall go by all Press reports and her own story of bravado.
This guy just pull open my car door and demanded my cellphone. At first I thought it was somebody who knew me, but when I?looked at the man I?realized he was wearing a hoody and a scarf around his face . . . .
I?did not even know where the knife came from, but he came over me and I shoved him and he came back again, and we started to tussle. He tried to slice my throat, and I put up my hand and I?felt the knife slice my hand and I?got a cut on my neck.
It was only then that Senator Sandiford-Garner surrendered her cellphone, with which her robber ran off.
I got out of my car screaming and screaming and I ran behind him, and at the same time I?saw another man standing in the dark by the bottle depot, dressed in black, and I realized that he had a buddy, and they ran off together.
 We have all been outraged by this dastardly act against the senator, but there have been those with the odd talk of foolhardiness of Mrs Sandiford-Garner. They argue she should have simply given over the phone from the start; that she didn’t set a good example for the many people she seeks to represent.
Easier said than done.
While we recommend the advice given by the police on how to deal with armed criminals when confronted, we are ever mindful of the lapses in perfect reasoning when under pressure of losing property or having one’s space violated.
It would be unkind therefore to vilify another after an experience like the senator’s for not being level-headed and as cool as one sitting comfortably in an office or at home reconstructing the scenario in one’s mind.
The disorder and vagbondness of the ordeal is unworthy of such simpleness.


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