BusinessTech, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Stats SA recently released the latest crime statistics for South Africa, which show a marked general increase in several of the 27 categories reviewed. The economic impact of violence containment in the country is R830 billion or R15 656 per person, or 10% of the country’s GDP. With respect to societal safety and security, South Africa ranks as the 15th worst country in the world.
With an increase in house robberies of 7.4% and 13.7% in businesses, there is a real need for serious concern. Crime is directly related to the state of the economy and the unemployment rate. With figures from the National Credit Regulator (NCR) showing that consumer debt has increased to R1.63-trillion in the second quarter of this year and 45% of all consumers are struggling to meet their repayments, it is clear that people are under severe financial pressure.
Ironically though, in economically depressed times, people tend to cut back on essential items such as insurance and security, seeing these as grudge purchases. In an effort to assuage their stressful situation, people often waste money on comfort foods and alcohol, which provide temporary relief but do nothing to deter crime. Another area where money has been increasingly spent is on over-the-top alternative backup power sources to alleviate the impact of load shedding.
Jack Edery, CEO of Elvey, says that not prioritising security is an unwise and short-sighted move which leaves both homeowners and businesses vulnerable.
Conversely, one should spend more money on security in times of financial pressure, to counter the onslaught of criminal activities. The short-term investment in security to detect and deter criminals pays huge dividends in the long term, with individuals who have committed to a security system reporting that their property and possessions were considered unattractive while their unprotected neighbours paid the hefty price for disregarding their basic safety and security.
Edery suggests considering an intruder detection system that provides timeous alerts when a breach is about to occur, followed by an audible alarm system that alerts a centralised control room and even the home or business owner, so action can be taken. The detection system typically comprises surveillance cameras that are suited to the environment and the risk. While there are a number of rather expensive high-end thermal cameras on the market, unless a standard camera would be insufficient to provide a visual alert of activity, this could be deemed overkill.
Finding the right combination of products at a cost that suits the customer’s budget is something best left to a reputable installer or system integrator. Edery emphasises the importance of aligning oneself with a service provider who has a proven track record in successful installations that mirror the customer’s proposed installation.
“My advice is to not settle for the first quotation and proposal you receive, but rather to speak to a number of service providers who have been recommended by trustworthy sources. Often the manufacturer or distributor of security technologies is able to provide a list of preferred service providers who are deemed competent in the selection and installation of the right solution for the risks assessed,” Edery concludes.
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