Wednesday, July 24Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

How to run away

Hunted, on Channel 4, is a reality show turned documentary, on the extreme difficulties of going ‘off grid’. The plot is that 14 everyday people have to go on the run for a month, while a group of highly professional hunters try to track them down. The hunters compromise of ex police officers, secret intelligent officers and even the dreamy David Blakely (once married to model Jodie Kidd). From watching the show, there are a number of things I’ve learnt on how to remain off the grid (if I ever became a most wanted fugitive, which I highly doubt will ever happen!)

  1. Don’t use public transport. Every time you use this there will be CCTV: if there is CCTV you can be tracked from anywhere in the world. Other forms of transport which have been proved successful are cycling and hitch hiking, or you could even push the boat out and use the seas.
  2. Go to a brand new place, try not to stick to familiar areas. First, this allows you to explore a new part of the country, and secondly there will not be a link giving clues to the hunters on your whereabouts. Favourite holiday destinations and family and friends homes are always a risky gamble. But be careful, try and not stick out from the local community, or you may be rattled!
  3. Wear disguises! Surely this is one of the most obvious things to do! Cutting your hair, dying your hair or even wearing a wig will make it that one bit harder for you to be tracked. Surprisingly only one of two of the people actually adopted this plan of action.
  4. Make sure your friends and family are fully aware of the fact you are running away. They will also be watched and have their social media accounts be scrutinised. The hunters do have the equipment to record inside homes to try and get important clues. Always be aware that every conversation can be heard.
  5. Don’t ever phone home or to anyone who you are close to. This has been demonstrated throughout the show and has led to a number of people getting caught. Your family and friends surely understand you will be unable to contact them so there is no real need to make sure they know you’re safe.

While Hunted is only an entertainment show, it has brought to my attention the extreme lengths the state or any type of hunters can use to find you. Can you really ever run away and, if so, what would your plan of action be?