“We have a problem,” says Locstat’s Hallam Ford. “South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world yet our up to R45 billion per annum security industry is not containing and or solving the problem. It could do though; we have the power to take back our communities, regain the initiative and prevent and reduce crime in South Africa. We need a new model and a different approach”.
Most of us subscribe to a multi-layered security approach. This starts with the wall around your property, builds through all your mechanical enhancements and then expands into your technological and procedural elements including your armed response subscription.
We are then either all members or patrollers of our local neighbourhood watch. Some of us even live in communities where we have taken things further by bringing in force-multipliers like licence plate recognition (LPR). More privileged communities pay for tactical teams to be on call. These are all great and fundamentally necessary layers. We need them all. But we still have the problem. Criminals still operate with near impunity.
Criminals these days are capable, agile, intelligent and highly adaptable. They innovate on-the-fly and easily manoeuvre around our security layers.
“The problem,” Ford argues, “is the model, its response-based. When something happens, we react. The armed response (AR) model is a good example. We need AR, but it is no panacea and has reached its current ceiling – it can’t innovate. We need something that makes our existing layers more efficient and effective and opens up new innovations.”
What criminals can’t do is manoeuvre around the fact that when they strike, they leave a mark, like a fingerprint, in the environment they have targeted. That ‘fingerprint’ is valuable when converted into data. Crime is seldom random.
“The missing layer is situational awareness,” says Ford.
All about intelligence
No military general goes to war without intelligence; No business is successful without market research; No doctor prescribes treatment without patient history and test results. We all use and rely on data in our professional lives, yet when it comes to the issue most dear to us – the safety and security of our families and possessions – why are we not using data as a force-multiplier?
Without credible data, we have weak situational awareness. We are blind, guessing, making decisions based on opinion instead of objective, credible facts. Without the patterns and trends that data provides, our approach can only ever be to just respond. It’s time for a paradigm shift in our security model.
“We need situational awareness and to exploit the products that a data-driven approach brings. We need to change and become pro-active and ultimately predictive if we are going to solve the problem.”
Historically we were unable to be pro-active as there was little credible data. The situation has changed, Ford says. Technology is available to now gather information, record incidents, geolocate them, categorise them, store then, analyse and visualise them, track resources and ultimately attain situational awareness.
Once we have situational awareness we enable the shift as we can now become pro-active based on patterns and trends. Through the use of further, more advanced capabilities such as Repeat and Near Repeat Victimisation Analysis (RNRV), we can then even become predictive. Importantly, now that we have data, we can measure the effect of our actions.
Locstat is one of these new capabilities which exploits technology to enable this data-driven approach by offering useful information to many through its cloud-based services. Through Locstat Cx, communities become empowered, credible and capable. The private security industry, through Locstat Sx can also adopt a new model, including achieving Industry 4.0 standards.
Ford explains that Locstat Cx is the basic service the company provides. It offers users functions such as heatmaps, statistics, tracking and visualisations in real time. Moreover, the service is offered free to communities, such as neighbourhood watches, and members can access it via a PC or mobile device.
Locstat Sx is an advanced version of the service that is sold to security service providers, municipalities, utilities and others. It includes the features of the Cx version, as well as RNRV, reports from armed response officers, tracking and more.
Ford adds that the benefits include:
• Dominating the security agenda through:
- Disruption, deterrence and denial
- Restricting criminal ability to manoeuvre
- Re-taking the initiative
- Hardening against risk
- Being pro-active and predictive instead of reactive
• Increased capability through:
- Situational awareness
- A more secure community
- Credible and empowered communities/security providers
- Validation and return on investment
• Collaboration between:
- Community, security providers and law enforcement
“By becoming pro-active, we can now regain the initiative and start to dictate the security agenda in our communities,” Ford concludes. “Currently the criminals hold most of the cards, we can change this.
“Data-driven technologies like Locstat aren’t a threat to the security industry. On the contrary, they look to empower it to achieve its true potential.”
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