More communities are rallying together and calling for dedicated security services to help them tackle crime as the scourge spirals out of control in many suburbs.From community orientated security measures to private and single-security response vehicles, residents living in neighbourhoods plagued by crime have realised that disconnected and only-reactive security is no longer working.
The focus also has to change from reactive security to predictive and proactive community safety, says Nikki Mohlmann, Excellerate Security’s Community Manager. “We have been receiving an increasing amount of interest from residents about community-based crime solutions for their areas. Residents are desperate to improve their security measures as, despite armed response services and home alarm systems, they are still being targeted by criminals." Excellerate Security has reformed its crime fight approach over the past two years, as while it does still believe that armed response serves an integral purpose in fighting crime, it maintains that reaction is just that, reaction, and is not a solution to crime. Mohlmann explains that reaction is “incredibly vital” as an emergency measure and also helps mitigate risk, but it does not necessarily prevent crime from taking place.
“We are now seeing communities realising this and, as such, we are being consulted for alternate security systems which focus on community approaches. We have seen some residents asking for dedicated community patrol vehicles for their areas, obviously focusing on crime prevention as well as reaction, and our investigations capabilities are also a big talking point for many residents. Mohlmann says Westville is one area where Excellerate Security’s private investigations unit may “move in” to gather Intel. By doing these investigations that will be able to identify who and which syndicates are responsible for particular crimes in the area and establish their modi operandi.
“This converged approach to community safety therefore not only enables it to prevent crime before it occurs by monitoring suspicious activity and people, but also increases the chances of their arrests, which is ultimately the only solution to crime.”She adds that community security solutions are incredibly effective as they focus on areas as wholes, and can incorporate a number of integrated security aspects such as Watchmen Cameras, crime investigations, and patrols. “And this approach is what is desperately needed in South Africa’s suburbs.”