Security after the lockdown

1 April 2020 Security Services & Risk Management

South Africa is currently in lockdown and with it comes many concerns, worries, problems and questions. One of these questions is what is going to happen after the lockdown?

I don’t know. I don’t think anybody knows. Everyone is speculating. But nobody really knows.

I do, however, know that nothing is going to be the same. South Africa will be very different compared to the time before the lockdown. Not too long ago, South Africans were thrown a curve-ball named load shedding. We were complaining about the man-hours we lost daily. Three to four hours every day without electricity is rather hectic if you convert that time into money.

Now, we are literally losing weeks’ worth of man-hours as most people are not able to work during the lockdown period. Suddenly load shedding seems like a breeze. Many would take load shedding over a lockdown any day.

Can you see how quickly things change? Not only does this lockdown affect the present, but it also affects the future.

Jobs are at stake and no doubt several companies will have to cut salaries after the lockdown has been lifted; some have already started cutting salaries. Not to mention small businesses, restaurants, coffee shops, informal traders and so on that will simply not be able to open their doors again.

You see, the lockdown will have a ripple effect on life in South Africa. As people suffer a loss of income, they will have to look for other means of getting money.

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Jobs will be scarce; business owners will not be able to hire people for a while whilst they attempt to regain what they have lost during this time. No money means no food on the table. It means no roof over your head. What is the next option? Begging? There are already so many beggars on every corner, I doubt that there are enough corners available.

Possibly, more crime will take place.

Stealing a bit of food to feed your family can be justified to some extent. However, this does not mean it’s right; you be the judge. Remember that desperate people will do anything.

Alwinco has a problem with the fact that it does not stay with stealing food only. It goes over to looting and ransacking the place. Why do they feel the need to do this?

Already people are turning to crime. They are looting and ransacking schools, homes and other unsecured properties. The problem is that wherever these criminals take from, they do so with violence. They are literally breaking everything in sight, vandalising and destroying anything they can lay their hands on.

The question is why. Why do they not just take what they want and go? Why destroy everything?

I can’t be sure, but they may be looking for any form of hidden cash and in their endeavour to find this secret stash, they are destroying everything in their path. We have been asking this same question long before the lockdown.

It could also be that they are simply destroying everything purely for the sake of violence. These criminals have a ‘nothing to lose’ mindset which is a very dangerous mindset to have, as discussed in detail in our security risk assessment. Also, one needs to remember that criminals do not fear or respect the law, police or the justice system in South Africa.


Andre Mundell.

Why would they think that people hide cash in their homes, at schools and business offices? Perception is one of the most dangerous mindsets of all. It’s a mere perception and whilst this perception exists, they will assume that it is true.

The same applies to the perception of wealth. You might drive around in your vehicle knowing that you are three months behind on your car payment, your rent is due, and you are living on the bare essentials due to the lockdown and the lack of income. You also had to take a drop in salary which further adds to the mountain of debt you have. The criminal doesn’t know that.

All about perception

All he sees is that you are driving in your vehicle, you have a home and you still have a job. To him, that equals money. That is how dangerous perception is.

Crime was prevalent before the lockdown; however, I am afraid that it will only get worse after the lockdown has been lifted. The mindset of a criminal is a dangerous one, especially if they hide in the mob.

This way, they make it very difficult, if not near impossible, to be identified and apprehended. This is when acts of public violence become dangerous. The mob does not necessarily have a criminal agenda, however, the hungry criminal inside the mob will give it that criminal factor. These criminals will also instigate others to join them, coercing them into criminal actions without even realising it.

The question is, do you have the necessary measures in place to ensure that you don’t become a target? Do you have control over your security that allows you to know about everything that is happening on your property at any given time? Can your security system capture evidence, even more so when we think about a mob attack?

To be blunt, now is not the right time to discover that your security measures don’t adequately cover your risk. Nor is it the right time to find that your security team, whether in-house or outsourced, is unable to protect what needs to be protected and that they have never experienced a real security breach.

This applies to home as well as business owners. Any property owner will have to be extra vigilant and wary of the opportunities for crime. Too many people have already found out the hard way that their security means nothing as they do not have any control over it. They only know after something has happened. By then it is already too late.

Everyone is a potential target when it comes to crime, however, the elderly are soft targets. Criminals are looking at old age homes, retirement villages, estates, homes, restaurant, liquor stores, jewellery stores and so on, as opportunities. The elderly are vulnerable, and some criminals have the perception that they keep their money on them as they don’t want to visit banks.

Residential homes are also high on their list of soft targets as people don’t take care of their security. Do you as the homeowner understand the concept of a saferoom, the capturing of evidence, Time X and so on?

Some even think that most homes have money in a safe in the house or at the office, if you are a businessperson. Although this might very well not be true, the perception still exists, and criminals do not care whether it is true or not.

An informant also mentioned that criminals like security estates as they only need to get in at the main gate and the rest is like taking candy from a baby. People tend to be very lax and content in security estates, making it a breeze to get in, take what they want and to get out.

Are you in control?

Let’s be honest. Being in control of your security is the only way to ensure that you are fighting crime proactively.

Yes, it’s all good and well to have expensive cameras and a high-tech alarm system, but does it cover your risk? Is that what is needed to eliminate the opportunity that will eventually lead to crime? Do you know what your risks are?

The only way to ensure that your current security system is geared for the onslaughts of crime is through an independent security risk assessment. Do you have one? Have you read it? I am not referring to a sales report or a product assessment, please don’t confuse them.

Just like South Africa will be different after the lockdown, crime will also be different. The way you see and understand crime and security must change, sooner rather than later. Now is the time to ensure that your family and employees, where applicable, understand security, that they understand crime, risk and the measures that need to be taken to ensure that a security system is successful. It is also important that everyone in the household/business speak the same ‘security language’.

Now is the time to be in control of your security.

For more information contact Andre Mundell, Alwinco, +27 62 341 3419, andre@alwinco.co.za, www.alwinco.co.za


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