Junkies

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Junkies

Post  Socrates on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:51 am

Hi Chris.

I don't want to derail the other thread, but this was very interesting when you were talking about habitual criminals:

(many of them being addicts can't fight the compulsion long enough)

In your experience, what tactics do junkies use to get cash? Would they just try and surprise someone and intimidate them? How willing are they to get violent? What is the optimal way of training to avoid being targeted by these people?

Of course, anyone else is welcome to jump in as well...
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Re: Junkies

Post  Chris on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:04 pm

Hi Soc,

Interesting question and not one I had ever asked myself before.

I have to say at the beginning that this is just my gut feel for the people I have seen and the evidence I have heard about their behaviour. It's certainly not gospel and anyone else please feel free to chime in.

If I had to guess I would say that addiction to one substance or another is present in at least two thirds of the people I have seen in court and been directly involved in (i.e. seen their past history of offending and heard evidence of their lifestyle and criminal activity). In fact it could easily be 75 - 80% if I sat down and totalled up the figures properly.

The overall number I have come across likely reaches the thousands. I wouldn't even like to guess.

They usually have multiple addictions across multiple substances i.e. alcoholism and drug abuse. The very often have mental health issues that either feeds their addiction or because of it.

Their offending tends to be based around beg, borrow or steal. Theft essentially. Not usually with violence, normally dishonesty i. e. breaking into something or somewhere. Taking items out in the open. Shoplifting etc. They tend not to want confrontation and in many instances are in no real physical shape to handle it. Most of the time the average bloke in the street would be more than capable of besting them physically. If there is violence on their record it tends to be when they are younger and more capable and or as a result of their drug use making them rowdy and aggressive with friends, family and neighbours. Not usually violence when they are stealing.

They are usually very aware that the penalty for use of violence in a robbery or threatening it is a MASSIVE step up from stealing a bottle of whisky from the corner shop or a bag out of a car. They aren't interested in prison time, they aren't interested in hurting anyone. They aren't angry, they are feeding a compulsion and that can usually be done a tenner at a time.

The majority are heroin and cannibas users, some non-prescription drugs. Some cocaine but not as much as heroin. What that means from an offending perspective I have no idea but I suspect that cocaine users on the whole are more aggressive and function better overall than opiate users. Just my personal view but heroin truly seems evil to me. I've seen people confess to crimes purely because they want the treatment that being inside prison will give them access to and time off the streets to get clean.

As far as appropriate training, it's going to be difficult to always judge what if any drug an aggressive person or attacker may be on. Most junkies that I have seen look exactly like what they are, drug addicts. Dirty, smelly, waxy looking and a step behind the rest of the world. That said, in a bad situation it is probably too difficult a judgement to make and acting in any different way than you would any other person who was being violent towards you is logically foolish. You can't assume anything. If they are looking for money and you have the safe option of giving them what you have and making an escape then take it. I'd much rather give up a wallet then run the risk of dealing with someone who is likely completely desparate. A lot of junkies will carry a pointy and or bladed weapon simply because they are somewhat vulnerable and scared people themselves. Usual rules have to apply, including if you can't see the palms of both hands then you have to assume they are carrying some kind of weapon.

It's not really the full blown junkies that bother me. Though they are much more likely to be opportunist thieves. As I mentioned, they tend not to be violent, you can see them coming and they usually are physical wrecks. It's the young man under 30, possibly with a growing drug habbit and no inhibitions. I have seen lads on cocaine be on the end of a serious kicking and they have kept bouncing back like Zebedee looking to scrap. I would have massive concern about the damage those particular muppets can do. Most likely they are law abiding, relatively normal people by day but out for the weekend take a few lines and sink some beers and ready to fight the world or stick a glass in its face. They aren't interested in your money they are just amped up for the fight and will lay waste to anyone in their way. With those people not being in places where they are helps first and foremost but if it absolutely HAS to become physical then I believe unconsciousness is the safest response. These are the drug users that kill people, scar them for life and ruin lives. They act without any sense of consequence. They aren't "junkies" but they are often high when they commit the crime.

That's just me natterring on from personal experience, not trying to "tell it how it is". Someone elses mileage may vary.
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Re: Junkies

Post  Wayne Harrison on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:27 pm

Socrates wrote:Hi Chris.

I don't want to derail the other thread, but this was very interesting when you were talking about habitual criminals:

(many of them being addicts can't fight the compulsion long enough)

In your experience, what tactics do junkies use to get cash?

junkie as in people who inject? Or any severe addict?

Handbag snatches, robbery using anything. screwdriver, needle & syringe is a fav one, smashing car windows at traffic lights and stealing handbag. the white ceramic from a spark plug will shatter a car side window, or i have known folks to steal the emetgency glass hammer from trains/buses to do the same. stealing from houses.


Socrates wrote:
Would they just try and surprise someone and intimidate them?

sure. Especially if they view an easy target. Even with a hard target, how effective it is as a deterent depends on how desperate the addict is.

Socrates wrote:
How willing are they to get violent?

In my time in gangs i became involved with drugs. Had a drug problem for a long time. Even after gangs. If I can explain in a forthright way, and am not directing it personally at you.

Even though I never robbed someone for drug cash, I was living in prison and mingled outside with this kind of beast. Drugs. Coming of drugs is one of the worst feelings ever. It fucks your head up. Cant think straight. dont want to be around society. Feel paranoid. sweat. shake. panic. there is only one thing that will make me feel normal again. More drugs. If i cant get money by any other means i'll put a screw driver to your neck. I'll bite your f***ing nose off. Give you the 'virus', or threaten you with it. I can tell ya once threatened with that by someone who has the means to deliver it, it makes you think twice. where one cut can be a death sentence. So ya fear. Lots who threaten it dont even have the virus, or at least are not diagnosed.

In a robbery situation, the robber views the loot at theirs. not yours. This is even before the robbery. It aids the robber in his actions. This is why robberies so easily go to violence (although ODC armed robbers have failed if it does this), and of course there must be an element of violence in the act for it to be robbery. Though i make the distinction of physical violence here.

I need that money, I need that watch, I need that f***ing fone. I own it, and I am gonna take it. nothing will stand in my way. I have already prepared myself to do whatever is needed. the victim is going to be surprised, and have to react to my actions.

not all addicts do this though. not all addicts break the law. Lots depends on socio-ecomomic factors. I read Chris response and agree with lots of it. Though we come from different perspectives. I've an additional view with cocaine. I feel the psychological dependency of cocaine may not be as strong (initially) as the physical dependence of heroin. I was a cocaine addict for around eight years. It did contribute to my violence and crimes. which was a plus in an organized gang in northern ireland. I never took heroin, but lots around me did. I was in prison with lots also. I feel that the desire for heroin makes that addict much more dangerous. not because they can go full pelt at ya, but because they are willing to be extreme via their desperation. I agree with Chris that heroin addiction will waste the psyche of the addict. It pains me to say, but addicts will also know of their inadequacy. Giving rise to the real risk of improvised weapons. Whether this is played out as in the offender prosecuted I cant say. I only comment on the breed of addict I knew of.


Socrates wrote:
What is the optimal way of training to avoid being targeted by these people?

Wow, there's loads of answers and opinions to this. dont be in well known areas they are. dont display anything of value. dont stop to give a light, etc. cross street from them. have proper security in your house. if you have wooden or the old type metal window panes, get them changed to plastic pvc. or at least get the windows extra security locks. it doesn't stop one getting in, as they smash the window and either take the glass out or rip open the whole window, but it makes a heck of a noise.

Keep your care keys and wallet, etc downstairs at night. Creepers as they are known, are house burglaries while the occupants are asleep upstairs. I never was into houses but know some who specialized in it. Best to let them take what material goods they have downstairs, and not make them wanna come upstairs.

ideally we dont want the addict to target anything about us. although, I agree with Chris. Should the situation arise, let the addict target the items, and not the person. honeslty, honestly, it don't matter what level of training one is at, with an addict if they have become that desperate to try to rob, take it they are willing to hurt. A stab is one thing, HIV or Hepatitis is another. It's not just sharing needles. It's sharing bank notes that one toots with. sharing snatters. If I can say so commonly..

warmest wishes

Wayne
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Re: Junkies

Post  Socrates on Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:30 am

Great answers, lads. Many thanks!

What you both said chimes with my experience of living in Madrid in the middle of a heroin boom in the early 90s. I got stuck up by junkies with knives a couple of times. They targeted me because I looked like a typical "guirri" (blond, pale, not Spanish) and because I was a bit naive.

Once I got a bit clued up about awareness and avoidance, the problems seemed to evaporate. Basically if you see them coming and cross the road or whatever, they will wander off and look for someone else. Also, I returned to live in Madrid in the late 90s and still come regularly. By the end of the 90s, the junkies were too broken down physically to intimidate anyone healthy. Very sad.
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Re: Junkies

Post  Dave on Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:15 am

My experience on 'robbers' is that the majority are not heroin users. They are groups of lads (sometimes girls) aged 14 to mid 20's who want money, not necessarily for drugs, but it can be used for drugs, drink, gamble, buy trainers, phones (or just have your phone). They are usually dressed in casual sports gear they dress not scruffily but a bit trendy, baseball caps, trackies, latest trainers, they wear what ever is in fashion amongst their age and peer grooup.

They knock round in groups singling out the vulnerable be that drunks, students, young teenagers, females etc and they dont always come across threatening. They might approach a one of the latter and engage in small talk (always weighing up the intended victim) they might make a bit of a laugh about things, there are those called 'hugger muggers' who dance with a drunk person put their arms around the shoulder and pretend like they are messing about having a laugh. Only for the drunked victim not to notice that they are at the same time having their pockets dipped, and if they sus out what is happening then the mugger becomes threatening and aggressive. Without trying to sound racist (because I'm not) this tactic is one used a lot by groups of foreign nationals be they eastern european or Somalian or what ever.

Another is drunken men drunken being approached by a female who starts to flirt and hug, his ego shouts that he's in there. But in reality she's had his iphone out of his pocket. Or she will lure him down an entry for a quick grope which again gives her the chance for an ideal rifle through his pockets. If he gets over excited a nearby friend of hers can step in and give him a kicking. (I should know I'm on my 6th iphone Embarassed Only kidding Wink )

Another ploy is the friendly approach to someone on their mobile phone, start up some small talk and either ask if they can use your phone to call someone and then walk of with it, You would be surprised how many people feel uncomfortable saying 'NO' or feel intimidated into saying YES. or they try to lure you down an alley with the promise of some cheap knock off gear or drugs, then when you get your wallet out they threaten you with violence if you show some resistance they will show a knife or a gun (most of the time an imitation or BB gun, but who is going to chance it pale ) or they might give you a hard punch to the face to knock any hero ideas out of you.

The old "have you got the right time or got a light" is also a destraction which can result in a mugging. If a cash point you want to use has a group of possible muggers stood around looking at the people using it, simply walk to the next one. Why risk being the next victim.

Very few 'street robberies' or mugging victims that I have seen have resulted in serious injuries. They usually result in no injuries or something minor such as a bloody lip, swelling, bloodied nose or a black eye. It depends on the level of resistance. But with males it always includes bruised ego.

The few major ones I've seen such as knocked unconscious, lost teeth stab wounds are all from where the victim has refused or put up somekind of resistance. Which leads me to the fact that I've also seen a lot of attempt robberies where the victim has put up some kind of struggle be it a refusal to hand anything over or physically attacked the robber/s and come away with no or minor injuries.

At the end of the day we will all deal with it as we will. Sometimes people say that they would do one thing only for auto pilot to kick in at the time of the robbery and they do something totally different.
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Re: Junkies

Post  Wayne Harrison on Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:46 am

That is a really great post Dave. Lot's of truth in it.

Can I just pick up on something that Dave and I think maybe Chris touched on. It's about the likelihood of the level of violence. What they're saying I agree with in broad terms. although what has always served me well is taking everything worst case scenario, in the pre-stages. I'm not suggesting Dave or Chris were implying otherwise. In this context I mean training. Taking it as the worst is gonna happen and training accordngly is the wisest approach I feel. This doesn't mean training to sink your teeth into someones adams apple and ripping it out like something outta 28 days later (though in context that approach is useful!), for me it means in whatever training is approached, train that as if you are in worse-case sceanario. One has the freedom to slide the intensity/tweak actions up and down in the actual street attack per the elements of self defence = the threat you perceived and the actual threat (decided by court).

When I prepared for worse-case, anything less is a bonus. I have it covered. Discipline means and knowledge helps one not over-step the boundaries legally.
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Re: Junkies

Post  Chris on Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:27 am

There is a massive difference in the behaviour of those criminals where drugs accompany the lifestyle and where drugs ARE the lifestyle.




Last edited by Chris on Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Junkies

Post  Dave on Fri Apr 05, 2013 5:52 am

Wayne Harrison wrote:That is a really great post Dave. Lot's of truth in it.

Can I just pick up on something that Dave and I think maybe Chris touched on. It's about the likelihood of the level of violence. What they're saying I agree with in broad terms. although what has always served me well is taking everything worst case scenario, in the pre-stages. I'm not suggesting Dave or Chris were implying otherwise. In this context I mean training. Taking it as the worst is gonna happen and training accordngly is the wisest approach I feel. This doesn't mean training to sink your teeth into someones adams apple and ripping it out like something outta 28 days later (though in context that approach is useful!), for me it means in whatever training is approached, train that as if you are in worse-case sceanario. One has the freedom to slide the intensity/tweak actions up and down in the actual street attack per the elements of self defence = the threat you perceived and the actual threat (decided by court).

When I prepared for worse-case, anything less is a bonus. I have it covered. Discipline means and knowledge helps one not over-step the boundaries legally.

Yep, very wise. Better to have the ability and not need it than to need it and not have it Very Happy
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Re: Junkies

Post  the spaniard on Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:33 am

Socrates glad you are ok and can avoid now junkies,as i tell my customers just having a bit of awareness can go a long way.
Tourists (especially Americans) are showing money in public as they pay,leaving the camera on the table while having a beer at a terrace etc.
Fuck,even they don't see a tranv coming Shocked
Whenever i see a "yonki" studying me (they look at you to see if you're a victim) i keep moving,never stop.
It's interesting how crimes change (methods really),the use of syringes to steal is something from the 80's-90's now is screwdrivers or navajas (spanish folding knives).
"Tirones" (purse pulls?) is coming back,from a small motorbike they take the woman's purse and drive away (i have seen taking mobiles phones and sunglasses this way).

If you are in Madrid watch out for a new trend:
Mataleon or Rear Naked Choke mugging.
They tend to target guys who are coming back home from a night out,come from behing and choke him until he is uncoscious.
Then take his wallet and mobile.

The victim wakes up confused,not knowing what happened.Police have arrested a gang of Romanians especialised on this,they said they have learned to do the choke while in "reformatorio" (youth detention center?).
Problem is some victims have hurt their heads,faces etc while falling uncoscious (if the bastard doesnt care to release you properly).

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Re: Junkies

Post  Socrates on Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:05 am

Yeah, I'm fine, mate. It was a long time ago.

I go to Madrid most weeks and it's a very safe city. Even so, you see a lot of tourists who never take their eyes off their smartphones as they wander around late at night. It's almost like they want to get mugged...
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