We have experienced some crime in the past weeks. We have studied these incidents and have concluded that with every incident a flaw was present opening up an opportunity for criminals to hit.
For an introduction we need to go back to nature. A security system / network is like a spider’s web and the closer we can get our security network to resemble a spider’s web the more effective it will become.
If a spider only establishes an outer rim (our exit control and boom gates) the insect will pass through the middle without being trapped. This outer perimeter is important as it gives the web its shape and without it the web will have no structure and will collapse.
The spider adds spokes to the web. These spokes will ensure that the spider has a good basis for the construction of the rest of the web and will ensure that the vibrations of the struggling prey is relayed to the spider (this equates to the communication channels, alarm networks and community actions).
The spider then proceeds to add the links between the spokes made of sticky strands to catch the insects (this will represent the alarm hardware, reaction vehicles and operations). If the spider does not add enough of these strands, slippery prey will still escape thus the structure must have enough of these for the surface of the web (the greater the area, the more vehicles and hardware in the field, the better the web functions).
The spider then sits in the middle of the web lightly touching the strands and then waits for a signal / vibration from an insect (this represents the control room, emergency telephones and alarm monitoring system).
The web must also be strong and must not break when a struggling insect is caught (the strength of our web is the financing behind it).
If the spider defaults with any of these crucial factors, the web fails and the spider goes hungry thus a spider never blunders when spinning a web.
On the other hand, we are constantly stumbling. We are forever trying to make do with what we have in an attempt to give the best with parts of our web being insufficient. We are attempting to create the best web without the correct funding. We are attempting to patrol the area with a constant reminder of the rising fuel costs and having to limit kilometres to stay within budget. We are attempting to deploy the most staff members with rising salaries and over-time payments. We are adding kilometres to our aging vehicles with a fear of having to replace them sometime. This web / security system can only reach its ideal form if everyone takes part and supports the network run by the LCA.
HOW SHOULD OUR SECURITY SYSTEM FUNCTION?
The LCA forms the backbone and supports the outer perimeter as well as the patrol vehicle that is constantly on the lookout for irregularities. This is important as this forms the outer perimeter of the web and gives it structure and shape.
The Security company then attempts to fill in the inner structure of the web by supplying the communication channel, the alarm systems and monitoring, reaction vehicle, necessary infra structure, additional man power and resources. The latter is financed by the income generated from alarm and other Security company clients. This inner web exceeds the income received and additional patrols and operations are short-lived and unsustainable.
The ideal web can be created when the income from the Security company clients can support the additional services and operations indefinitely. If more people join the alarm monitoring it is tantamount to increasing the sticky strands and it becomes more difficult for the criminals to move within the area undetected. This makes the patrolling more effective as the Security company officers and control room are in touch with their area and become aware of movement within premises and criminals will find it harder to escape.
Keeping the spider’s web in mind we must at an incident where criminals entered a premises climbing over a high wall and gained access to the premises. Various Security Company vehicles patrolled past the premises more than once during the time of the incident. The street was clear and everything looked normal when the vehicles passed. The web had a hole in it as the vibration did not reach the spider. This premises was not connected to a control room and security was only informed once they were called. The picture would have been different had the resident being linked to an armed response and alarm monitoring security company. The criminals did not pass through the outer perimeter and got lost within a web full of holes. The conclusion is that after these incidents the criminals hid within the area until it was safe for them to leave. In one of the other incidents the victim had everything in place but his alarm system was disabled and no signal was sent to the control room.
HOW CAN I AVOID BEING THE TARGET?
Unfortunately we live in a country where we can not fight crime by being passive and we have to become actively involved and be aware of our surroundings at all times.
- Firstly, become part of our web! This will ensure that our actions are sustainable.
- Be vigilant and report suspicious people, vehicles, signs and strange behaviour to us immediately.
- Criminals are experts in disguise. Do not accept that the builder’s vehicle parked on the pavement belongs to a builder. Report vehicles parked near your premises if you are unsure that they belong there.
- Increase awareness amongst your domestic staff and gardeners and train them in identifying criminal activities. Make them aware of the possibility that criminals might approach them for information and what they should do. Assure them that they will remain anonymous should they provide information of criminal activities.
- Get to know your neighbours. You will then know if there is something wrong.
- Make sure you have the latest in alarm technology and that it works.
- Make sure that you have an early warning system. We need to know before the criminal enters your house.
- Make sure you use your alarm effectively. (Make sure your alarm is activated even when leaving your house for a few minutes). A house break-in can take a mere two minutes.
- Make sure you do not enter your premises when there are suspicious people loitering around.
- Install silent passive panic buttons (a panic button that you do not have to press).
- In 90% of house break-ins the plasma or flat screen TV is taken. Place a silent passive panic button on the TV and the panic will be sent to us when the TV is removed whether you alarm is switched on or not. You can do the same with safe doors and other valuable items.
- A person can do only that much and more than that you will have to rely on higher powers for protection.
IMAGINE WHAT CHANCE CRIMINALS WILL HAVE
IF EVERYBODY BELONGED TO THIS WEB?