In the wake of the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, MP’s are being offering self-defence training. The system, which was originally developed for the Israeli defence Force, is called Krav Maga and combines elements of judo, jiu-jitsu and boxing. It is designed to be used against both armed and unarmed assailants. But is it the answer?

Personal Safety TrainingThe system on offer to MP’s focuses on how to defend yourself against the ten most common attacks, which include a ‘swinging punch to the head’; ‘a bottle, glass or ashtray to the head’; and a ‘slash with a knife’. The first session was attended by 2 MPs as well as 18 assistants

A spokesperson said that the particular type of Krav Maga MPs were being taught was designed to ‘disarm and run’ but not ‘confront’. She said: ‘We are teaching them techniques where if someone comes at them with a knife or a gun, they can disarm the weapons and then run. They are not being taught how to fight…’

Risk Manager at SecuriCare Lee Hollins says, “What we have here is a unique situation. MP’s are at risk of attack by virtue of who they are, and what they represent in the current climate and the way they work. They are both visible and accessible, most notably through their weekly surgeries. History has shown that this proximity to the public has placed increased the danger they face. If  look back in recent history you will recall that Stephen Timms was stabbed twice in one such attack, Nigel Jones in another where Andrew Pennington was sadly killed. Now we also have the tragic murder of Jo Cox..”

“The training solution on offer to MP’s is pure self-defence. So we are not talking restraint or physical interventions techniques here, we are talking about techniques designed to get the individual under attack out of danger as quickly as possible. As with any physical response competence is key, and this is not always easy to develop, let alone retain. The key is to have a broader strategy into which physical techniques can be integrated. One example of which is the C-U-T strategy…”

“Create distance. In short the greater the distance between you and the person that presents a threat the more time you have and so the more options you have available. The key here is to recognise that your level of awareness to developing danger is what enables you to keep a personal safety buffer zone. This is all about being alert who is entering your immediate environment and how they are behaving. It about ongoing dynamic risk assessment..”

“Use cover. So imagine a situation has developed, and there is what you might call a clear and present danger. You are trying now to increase distance. In an ideal world if the threat is high, or if a weapon is present you would evacuate the area. Failing that what you should try to do is use natural cover. Use whatever is available; tables, chair, a car or other environmental barricade…”

“Transmit. Here we are talking about raising the alarm, alerting others and activating witness. The more positive noise can be made the better. It also has the added benefit sometimes of being used to buy time…”

“The use of any force would only be an absolute last resort after all of the avenues of approach have been explored and exhausted. This is the benefit of a strategy. If all you have are physical techniques then you have nothing else…”

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to ensure that nominated trainers can help staff to respond safely and effectively to any ‘Challenging Behaviour’ that may occur, including the application of ‘Physical Interventions techniques’. All programmes are finalised after full training needs analysis and delivered by experienced frontline practitioners. Click to see our ‘Preventing & Managing Challenging Behaviour’ Course which includes ‘Positive Behaviour Management’ techniques designed to minimise the need for any kind of restrictive intervention. You can also take a look at our person centred Behaviour Planning Service.

Contact us for more information and to discuss your needs: E: trainers@securicare.com or T: 01904 492442