SAS hero shares urban survival skills to help you protect your loved ones

SAS hero shares urban survival skills to help you protect your loved ones

“Run, just run. Your priority should always be to remove yourself from the potential conflict situation,” says Chris. “There is no shame in this. Any soldier will tell you the best way to avoid being killed in a fight is to avoid the fight itself.” Chris’s new book, Safe, which the Daily Express is serialising tomorrow, with a second extract in the Sunday Express, is a veritable bible of advice, gleaned over many years of SAS service. Its aim is to empower, not scare, and it was written after police warned Chris his daughter had become a potential target for fanatics linked to Islamic State. She had been identified after posting an online picture of her dad at a book signing. While the security services swung into action, and the threat was eventually downgraded, Chris, 58, has come to believe it’s increasingly up to us as individuals to look after ourselves. But his book is no gung-ho call for vigilantism or a citizens’ militia. Rather it’s filled with common-sense security advice and, at its heart, is an impassioned appeal for people to be more aware of their surroundings, thus better able to avoid danger. As he writes: “In the wake of every terror attack, we hear a similar story from those in authority, ‘We won’t be cowed. We’re not frightened. Well, of course, they’re not frightened! Many of them have bodyguards and bulletproof vehicles. The rest of us don’t.” Frankly, he explains, the “it won’t happen to me” attitude might be a comforting safety blanket, but it’s no help if you do find yourself in a high-risk situation.  And danger can strike anywhere, as his own experience has shown. At the heart of Chris’s strategy is a policy of non-confrontation wherever possible, something that has become increasingly difficult in Florida where he has lived for several years. “I love America, but people have become very aggressive, especially when you’re talking about politics. You’re either with us or against us. There’s just no middle ground any more. “My neighbours are generally Republicans but just talking about anything political gets people angry, very quickly. I avoid the subject as much as possible. When you couple short tempers with rampant gun ownership, it can be a deadly mix.”  School shootings, like the one in Parkland, Florida, in February last year in which 17 students and staff were killed, are on the rise. “Just before I left the States last week there was a shooting at a school. It was the 150th mass shooting this year. That’s across the whole of the US and it’s a big country but, on average, 30,000 people are killed in gun-related incidents every year,” he says.  “When owning handguns was legal, I was still in the SAS and I had two pistols at home. But after what I’ve seen in America, I’m in favour of tighter gun control everywhere. I was talking to a couple of Americans at a barbecue shortly after London’s Borough Market terror attack. They told me, ‘If it had happened in America, one of us guys carrying a concealed weapon would’ve