There has been more than a 300% increase in business-related robberies since 2006, translating into about 54 reported armed robberies every day during the 2015/2016 cycle.
At the same time, the South African Police Services (SAPS) reports that there has been in excess of a 30% increase in attacks against retail cash-deposit machines, safes and vaults, while the use of explosives during this period has also soared.
Noticeably, as much as 90% of these outbreaks against businesses have been perpetrated with the help of dishonest employees.
However, it is not only the retail sector that is investing heavily into private security services to safeguard earnings, customers and employees. Other industries are also taking proactive steps to secure their operations.
Vulnerabilities in the supply chain remain one of the biggest concerns for many companies. Weaknesses have become increasingly evident in the transportation and warehousing of products, with attacks against these vital business components having become more intricate and better executed over the years.
According to experts, typical cash-in-transit robberies are planned between five to 18 months before they are executed from safe houses located in affluent neighbourhoods close to the crime scene. Again, these operators rely heavily on information supplied by dishonest employees and, in some instances; they even participate actively in the crime.
No detail is spared during the preparation phases. Sophisticated crime syndicates take into account the best escape routes and the number of shoppers on site. They have even studied the pattern of police presence and the positioning of security guards on site before they strike from strategically-placed vehicles.
Meanwhile, many South African households also continue to place their trust in private security specialists as crime, especially violent offences, continues to soar in the country.
More than 1,5% of South African households currently use private security specialists, spending well over R40-billion a year on these companies, compared to the R30-billion that state allocates to the SAPS to execute its mandate.
The growth of the South African private-security industry can also be attributed to dissatisfaction with the SAPS and the overall justice system in the country.
Companies, such as Havensec Solutions, can take immense pride in being part of one of the largest private-sector security industries in the world, alongside those in India, China, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Japan.
There are currently just under 500 000 active private security officers in the country versus less than 200 000 people serving in the SAPS and just more than 77 000 people, excluding reserves, in the South African National Defense Force.
It is anticipated that the industry will continue to grow in strength as South Africans search for a reliable partner to help them navigate extremely turbulent times, characterised by a rampant increase in serious and violent incidences.
Certainly, economic strife has and will continue to fuel the situation, with the widening of the so-called “gap” between the “haves” and the “have-nots” aggravating the situation.
In addition to growing disparities in society, crime has become a sub-culture in the country. It is tolerated by community members who are exposed to violence at a very young age. They condone crime and even buy and share stolen goods.
In addition to low police visibility, the already-strained resources of the SAPS manifest in the lack of accurate crime intelligence, which is aligned to international best practices and standards.
A holistic picture of crime in the country is critical to effectively combat the problem, and perhaps the private security industry could take the lead in assisting the SAPS in developing such a critical tool?
As opposed to adopting an adversarial relationship, Havensec Solutions believes that the industry has an important part to play in complementing the existing limited capacities of the country’s security forces. Not only will it be able to help the SAPS develop a blueprint for effective intelligence gathering, leading industry participants will also be able to assist in maintaining and managing this system.
Relying on our extensive experience, cutting-edge equipment and infrastructure, as well as skilled teams, Havensec Solutions has earned a reputation for its accurate investigative outcomes.
We work closely with our clients to develop and implement a comprehensive security solution for their unique needs. They understand that the decisions they make today will impact on their organisation’s sustainability over the long-term, and it is for this reason that they have entrusted us with their critical security needs.
These include our expertise in the field of personal body guarding, armed escorts, surveillance and information gathering, debugging of private and office spaces, covert cameras, undercover agents and polygraphs, as well as private and civil investigations.
This holistic security offering, founded upon tried-and-tested best practices, is a pro-active response to the interrelated nature of today’s businesses by offering an integrated security framework that provides stronger protection against real threats.