On 31 July 2020, the South African Police Service (SAPS), in conjunction with Stats SA, published the country’s 2019/20 crime statistics. The information is usually published around September but the earlier publication is part of a new communication initiative to publish the statistics quarterly instead of annually.
Property related crimes, which include burglary at non-residential premises, burglary at residential premises, theft of motor vehicle and motorcycle, theft out of or from motor vehicle and stock-theft, saw a combined reduction of 5.2%.
The reduction of property related crimes are attributed to more comprehensive home security measures, improved technology and real-time alarm notifications, visible policing in suburbs, and increased community involvement initiatives.
While this is a certainly reason for celebration, many lifestyle estates and gated communities still have a long way to go improve their security, access control and security measures.
Here are 5 useful tips which can be implemented to improve your estate security:
Perform Security System Tests and Audits
It is important to make sure all the different estate security features and systems are in a working condition. Make sure the appropriate alarms are activated in case of a breach and that the security personnel are aware of their responsibilities in such instances. Also make sure that panic buttons and armed response services react timeously. To compare and improve future tests, it is important to record all responses, reaction times, human and system errors and impractical procedures. Perform these tests and audits at least once a quarter.
Do Regular Site Inspections
Make sure to check the entire site and parameter fence, both internally and externally at least once a month, for any breakages, damage to parameter wires, faulty cameras, entrance gates, and security beams. The purposes of these inspections are to identify visible risks and problems and to correct or repair them timeously.
Use Reliable Guarding Companies
It is of critical importance that you award the monthly security and guarding contract, where applicable, to reputable and accredited security companies. As many of the security procedures and responses rely on competent and well trained security staff, it is vital that the service provider invests in the necessary accreditations and industry norms to ensure maximum competence to your estate.
Only Use Approved External Service Providers
In many gated communities and residential estates, residents often make use of a range of service providers for services and products such as internet installations, satellite TV, awnings and pergola’s to name but a few. It will be in the interest of the estate to make use of an approved list of service providers, or to clearly define the process for a new service provider, to become part of the approved list, to do work in the estate. These requirements or rules will ensure that only reputable external companies gain access to the estate. It is also good, to have on record, the personal details of the service provider in question, should any security incidents occur.
Residential Security Forum
It is very useful to have a regular forum, or meeting opportunity for residents, to discuss any security problems, issues relating to access control, specific unfortunate incidents, new crime statistics and information on active syndicates in your area, or simply to have a conversation with the operations team of the security guards, to ensure that the security of the estate remains of a high quality and to promote the relations between residents and the security personnel. These forum notes can also be distributed to all residents to ensure effective internal communication.
It is best to keep in mind that no security measures, procedures or technology can replace the vigilant and observant actions of all residents, maintenance staff and security personnel.
Maintaining authentic relationships, both internal and external, makes for a blissful estate and will go a long way to protect the harmony of the residents and all staff operating within the estate. Safety and security remains an act of cooperation.
Devtron specialises in tailored on-site security monitoring and control systems, which utilises software in conjunction with existing hardware components, and affords estates the opportunity to take charge of the safety and security of their sites.