I always wait until the Stalkers ( Loners ) control one of the entry points
in Garbage coming from the Cordon. That way I never get mugged by
the Bandits or earn any negative points from running or fighting them.
Yea but sometimes it will take a long time, also I don't think you lose any points by escaping from Bandits, only that squad you got away from will become enemy, but you won't lose rep with the faction...
If you haven't earned any points then you can't see a decrease to them.
You can lose gained points by making Bandits you attempt to go around
becoming new enemies at the level changers. Need to get past them?
Wait until an emission commences and they abandon their position.