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Columns : Preventative Measure - Gamal Newry Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Crime Reduction Strategies: Rules of Engagement
By Gamal Newry
May 25, 2011 - 3:38:32 PM

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“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”


No folks, not some fantasy of mine, and yes, sometimes this is easier said than done but these are the types of tactics we need to develop. Whereas I am quite aware of the need to fight in necessary, but certainly it would be easier to engage our young men and women before we see them doing the ‘Bank Lane Shuffle’, before we hear the cries of 'not my good child'. With this in mind, I challenge everyone to reach out via a youth group or in your neighborhood to our young men and women, and let them know there is hope.  


It is the NBA Playoffs, and like some of our not-so-favorite teams it appears that the criminals are leading by several games. What’s the game plan? Where are our super stars, and our bench? We need some help as we muddle over what is the next best move, and who is going to make that buzzer sounding 3 pointer while our society is being pounded into the ground.

Please note that Gamal is no big fan of the sport of basketball, for reasons that will require an article all on its own. I am however a martial artist, and ‘Newry Knows Combat’ and basketball, like life, has hero's and  villains  depending on what side you are pulling for.

Let me begin by telling you the secret of combat and self defense, without you even having to step into my school and take one of my self defense classes. The key secret to winning any fight is ‘Speed – Surprise – Commitment’, not skill, resources, or knowledge, but simply the unexpected fast and determined actions of an assault on the specific target. This is how the underdog wins, they eliminate the anticipatory tactics that they have become known for, and do the unorthodox. If you do not believe me then listen to what Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese strategist and tactician has to say;


 “Let your plans be dark and as impenetratable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”




"Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.

Or better yet as ‘NIKE ‘says ‘Just Do It’


The continued announcement that we are at war with criminals in my opinion projects that the opposing side has a cause worthy of their efforts, justifying their means and bringing creditability to their goals and lifestyle. Frankly this continued declaration of war is empowering the criminal and creating or rather has created a culture that is protected and idolized. Then to fuel this accreditation we tell all and sundry of our actions, strategy, and plans. We get on TV, call a press conference and let the whole world know that with this tactic and strategy we will get them this time; only to come the following month in another press conference speaking of the next attack on crime. Please note, the criminals are not making announcement and calling press conference about their success and failure rate. On the other hand they act without hesitation at whatever and whomever they choose. Perhaps they have studied Sun Tzu. The recent robbery of a major department store in the heart of downtown Nassau, is an example of this. 


When I teach a class or conduct a seminar on self defense as best as possible I avoid discussions on the numbers or statistics, as this information is of little help when you’re pinned on the ground and a knife at your throat. It is all about fighting – surviving – telling the story, because everyone likes a winner. Similarly I would venture to say that the deviant is not concerned about the crime rate or how much robberies were committed last year and the victim type. These individuals are in it for the championship rings and all.


If our so called ‘War on Crime’ as implied recently by the the May 9, 2011 Nassau Guardian's National Review 'Who is Winning the War on Crime?.  The  article  speaks  about  the  apparent  failure to convict alleged wrong doers. In my  opinion  a fundamental understanding of this element as Sun Tzu suggest,

'war is a very grave matter for the state, and must not be commenced without due consideration'

 is missing from the in the first instance, the Public, The Church, and The Government. If we do not appreciate the detrimental consequences of not subduing this issue then we will be destroyed. In fact I believe we are slowly evolving into a victim society as it appears that we have given up hope on maintaining the normalcy we call civilization. We are making criminals to be warriors or soldiers in an army that is invading our country.  At this point in our history we as a country must realize that we must be better prepared to deal with crime, and begin preemptive attacks long before the police go chasing and investigating. Definitely before they are sent before the courts, all of these are reactive  responses; leave us as a society playing catch up. This is insanity as we know that crime is and will happen; why we are not better prepared at this point is unacceptable.

Sun Tzu says this about war;


“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable

The criminal is here, they will come and they are not going anywhere. So what are you, rather what are we going to do? Essentially we must be prepared to seize opportunities when they present themselves and become flexible and adaptable to changing trends and culture. As it stands now, the approach to reducing crime is stagnant and producing minimal results, the Guardian's article cannot be anymore clear. The return for investment in man hours, be they at the policing level or persecutory level cannot be compared to the cost increase crime is having on our value of living. It would appear that we are fighting a losing battle.


As mentioned in previous articles it is better empowering social services, schools and the NGO’s like swim clubs, martial art schools,  the Boys Brigade, Scouts and Pathfinders with finances to support their proven tactics. Creating legislation that gives these agencies and organization more teeth to affect their programs. When teaching self defense I do not teach 'wait for them to attack and then counter', I teach 'if you see two guys walking towards you get ready – be ready’. You are already losing if you are reacting to the attack. Yes I do teach walking or running away if you feel overwhelmed, but where does a country run, where can the public hide? We must face this situation head on, but we have to change our approach. When we are responding to crime by buying more police cars and hiring more prosecutors, we are losing.


Gamal Newry is the president of Preventative Measures, a loss prevention and asset protection training and consulting company, specializing in policy and procedure development, business security reviews and audits, and emergency and crisis management. Comments can be sent to PO Box N-3154 Nassau, Bahamas, or e-mail info@ preventativemeasures.org or visit us atwww.preventativemeasures.org

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