CAMPROSA, the Campus Protection Society of South Africa, held its annual conference at the Boardwalk Conference Centre in Port Elizabeth in November. The focus of this year’s conference was 'Using science and technology to combat crime'.
As usual, there were a number of association-related events held along with the presentations over the three days of the conference. Firstly, the committee for the next year was confirmed and consists of:
* Roland September, President.
* Derek Huebsch, Vice President (Chair of Eastern Cape Cluster).
* Michael Langley, Chair of Western Cape Cluster.
* Jak Jansen Van Vuuren, Chair of Central Cluster.
* Martin Bezuidenhout, Chair of Northern Cluster.
* John Tunstall, Executive Secretary.
For the first time, CAMPROSA presented one educational security officer the award of 'Office of the Year'. This award is open to any campus patrol officer, access control officer, surveillance officer, traffic officer and administrative staff within campus protection whether employed in house or by a service provider.
The 2013 award was sponsored by G4S and was presented to Jak Van Vuuren from NWU at the conference. He received a floating trophy and another he could keep, plus a cheque for R4000 from G4S. The runner up was Melvyn Abrahams from UWC.
This award will be presented annually at CAMPROSA’s conference. Details for nominations can be found on the website www.camprosa.co.za.
The sponsors of the 2013 conference included:
* Sukema Integrated Solutions.
* Stallion Security.
* Protea Coin Group.
* Budget Car Hire.
* Red Alert Security.
* Securitas S.A.
* Salto Systems S.A.
* IPM - Integrated People Management.
There were a number of presentations covering wide areas of interest to campus security professionals. Some of these are briefly described below, in no specific order.
The DNA Project presented an overview of DNA and its importance in fighting crime. The presentation covered what DNA is, how it should be collected at a crime scene and how it can be used to find the perpetrators in various crimes. The presentation touched on issues such as the importance of collecting DNA and handling the evidence correctly to avoid contamination, as well as what evidence could be collected with a view to finding and extracting DNA.
The DNA Project is a registered non-profit, public benefit organisation that recognises the critical importance of DNA evidence in the resolution of crime. It is committed to advancing justice through the expanded use of DNA evidence in conjunction with a national DNA criminal intelligence database, also known as a National DNA Database. The project hopes that its efforts will translate into the comprehensive use of DNA analysis for crime detection and prevention in South Africa.
Alwinco delivered a presentation on the importance of having an independent security risk assessment done before implementing a solution. The presenter emphasised that without a risk assessment, you don’t have security because it’s only through an assessment that you learn all your areas of vulnerability and can mitigate them. He also stressed there is a big difference between a product assessment and a risk assessment.
He noted there are four important elements in every crime:
1. Victims have a poor level of knowledge or none at all with respect to the best means to secure their properties.
2. Victims are not in control of their security before or after the crime occurred.
3. Victims seldom have security plans for the future.
4. Victims have never had a security risk assessment conducted.
Two presentations were delivered on the very sensitive topic of suicide. One titled 'Student psychological problems and dealing with student deaths', touched on issues pertinent to dealing with suicides and suicidal students. Another opened with the touching quote: “Suicide is not chosen, it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.”
While it is not reasonable to reduce the subject to a few statistics, one presenter offered the following insights:
* In South Africa there are 23 suicides a day, and 230 attempts.
* 20% of students have had suicide thoughts.
* 8% of deaths in SA are due to suicide.
* 90% of people that commit suicide have a psychiatric problem, 60% are depressed.
On a somewhat lighter note, one presentation examined social media and its use and impact on campus life in this, the most connected generation ever. But while students are information rich and connected, there are positive and negative consequences of social media.
On the negative side there are issues such as sexual harassment and bullying, as well as slander when reacting to emotional issues. It’s good to remember that everything you post is a legal document and it never goes away, even if you delete it. On the positive side, social media can be put to good use with updates of weather, parking, fires, stolen cars etc. Since it offers two-way communication, campus authorities should be using it to engage in conversations that are beneficial to everyone.
Crime up and down
The Institute for Security Studies gave an overview of the crime situation in South Africa by looking at the crime statistics as well as the incidence of police brutality.
While some forms of crime are on a downward trend, serious crimes – such as trio crimes: business robberies, car hijackings and house robberies – are on the increase again. Additionally, armed robberies increased 60% and the financial loss from these incidents increased by 88% in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12.
Not that it would surprise anyone, but unrest incidents (crowd-related incidents involving violence) have also increased over the past reporting period. Statistically they have increased 57% since 2011/12 and 89% since 2009/10. And while police brutality seems to be in the news more than ever, incidences of brutality and deaths while in police custody are slightly down – which is a good trend.
One of the most enlightening presentations was from PwC in which the presenter discussed the fundamentals of mobile device forensics. It appears our mobile devices are able to tell people much more about us than we would like. This is made possible by the fact that today’s smartphones include what used to be multiple independent devices, from radios, to music players, tape recorders, video recorders and players, cameras and so forth. We have integrated much of our lives on these small devices.
The presentation covered the types of data that can be collected from mobiles and used in court. He also pointed out that there are three locations on an average phone where data can be stored: the SIM card, the memory card and inside the handset. The presenter also touched on the extraction technologies that can be used to find information such as contacts, calls (dialled, missed, received), text messages, multimedia messages, drafts, pictures, audio and video images, e-mail, browser history, tasks/notes/calendars, application files, maps, GPS locations visited and time and dates. The final assessment is that mobile devices are of immeasurable value in many crimes.
There were, of course, presentations covering other topics, but the conference closed with the attendees offering positive comments on the proceedings and the information provided in the course of the event. It was also announced that the 2014 conference will be held in September 2014 in Gaborone, Botswana, hosted by the University of Botswana. More details will be forthcoming early in 2014.
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