Security concepts for rural security

Issue 5 2021 Agriculture (Industry), Security Services & Risk Management

The principle of self-protection is based on being prepared and able to protect oneself against any form of attack. Preparation involves planning, the installation of physical security elements, electronic security support elements and manpower deployment. All modern security elements can be classified into one or other of the above possible solutions.

Laurence Palmer.

Let us consider the principle of the Crime Triangle.

• The crime triangle indicates –* desire * assets * opportunity.

• The desire is there: we want/need/demand.

• The asset is there, we have to use them every day.

• The opportunity, however, can be denied the attacker by neutralising the event before it can occur.

What we need to aim for ultimately is that we give ourselves early warning of the attack, time to respond to and prepare to repel the attack. This requires a good quality touch or beam type alarm system that works well with minimum false alarms – and is actually switched on when it may be required. This can also be coupled to a pre-recorded voice response or to an area loudspeaker with which to engage the attackers one-on-one. Other useful early-warning systems include:

• An external barrier of sufficient strength to delay the attackers in their attempt to gain entry to the home or its environs.

• A minimum of access gates to the property and access doors to the homestead. Gates and doors are weak points and invariably are not as robust or secured as effectively as they should be.

• CCTV cameras in the correct position and with the correct technical specifications to provide an effective observation platform prior to the attack and evidential records of any attack activity. The recordings must be of sufficient quality to be supportive of the prosecution’s efforts in court.

• Matching high power security lighting that can provide the lighting required by the CCTV and also have a deterrent value when it suddenly and unexpectedly illuminates the whole of the target area.

• A reinforced strong and fire-proof venue to which the potential victims can retreat to be protected and from where a successful counter attack can be launched. An effective and protected source of local and regional communications should also be available in such a venue, together with suitable food and water for at least a 24-hour period.

• Obviously, a supply of back-up weapons and ammunition and survival equipment is necessary in the venue.

Communication and information

Communicate with workers on a regular basis. If problems or disputes occur, address them as soon as possible and solve these in good faith and with good results. Try to solve all disputes at the lowest level of authority to prevent escalation and unwarranted consequences.

Information is your most valuable counter weapon against farm attacks. Establish an informer system with the workers and communicate with the farm workers, your neighbours, other community organisations, the church and the police.

You could also arrange with the community farm watch to reconnoitre your location and accompany you home, particularly if you are arriving back after dark.

The proactive action concept

I want to use a typical crime situation to illustrate the proactive action concept. The first part of the scenario plays out around a potential riot and public violence, we see it play off nearly every day in our country, with an extreme example occurring in July.

The location of the gathering and action is known. It is scheduled to commence at 04:00 with all participants meeting there. The police are aware of this pending action and deploy their members at the location at 02:00. They take up positions and dominate the area.

At 04:00 or thereabouts the protestors begin to arrive in their taxis and buses, or on foot. When they see the police presence their immediate response will be to be deflated and even possibly to retreat from their intended action. They know that they will immediately be arrested the moment they try to block the road or set tyres on fire. Success!

In the second part of our scenario the police are either not aware of the pending action, or they do not have the manpower and resources to deploy. The protestors arrive at the allocated time on foot and in taxis or buses. They gather in numbers and start their action by blocking the road and burning tyres. The police are advised by the public who are blocked from reaching their desired destination by the mass action and road blocks. The moment the police arrive they become a target and subject to the wrath of the protestors. The police try to disperse the crowd with tear gas and fire rubber bullets, the road remains closed for hours, there are injuries on both sides. Failure!!

This article is the opinion of the author and is based on the latest information available and his previous and current efforts to prevent farm attacks. For more information, contact Laurence Palmer, +27 73 954 4450,

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