The wealthy father of 2 children who were held hostage in their own home for several minutes by an armed gang, along with their grandparents has spoken out about how his 12-year-old son had the sense to conceal a landline phone on his person during the ordeal while the robbers ransacked the house to steal valuables.

Now to some people, myself included, being one step ahead is second nature, for others, it’s something that has to be learned. But with the number of break ins at wealthy addresses on the rise, it is important that we teach our kids how to scheme and be sneaky.

From bugging rooms with concealed mobile phones while on the line to the police, to showing lack of interest, ‘go on, have it, it’s insured’. Even goading them ‘have the phone, but give me the SIM card and Memory Card please’. There are all kinds of ways you can play these types of people, and given the description, they sound to be travellers, which usually means they lack the intelligence to know they’re being played at their own game.

In these large houses, there are loads of nooks and crannies, attic spaces here there and everywhere, all you’d have to do is install a panic button in one of them that links direct to the police and let the family know where to find it.

Concealing things is the oldest trick in the book, but armed robbers like this aren’t looking for minor things like laptops and TV’s, they’re looking for jewels, watches and anything that is near as damn it untraceable. Pepper Spray is always a good option, especially in a girls room, kept next to the hairspray and other hair and beauty type stuff, while in a boys room, next to the collection of Deodorant.

I’d even go as far as concealing weapons, though I don’t condone violence, a baseball bat and Retractable knife can really put the fear of Christ in people, especially if you show you’re not afraid to use it (you’ll have to call the plasterers later). There is also the alcoholics trick (it works every time), wrap something in a plastic bag and hide it in the cistern. No robber is going to think of checking your plumbing, and if they do, ask them for a quote on getting the entire bathroom re-plumbed.

Being blasé is a powerful tool in these situations, especially because if like the family in question, you have CCTV that also records audio, the more you have them talking, the more their voices are heard and the more chance of voice recognition software picking them up.

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