Combatting crime, simply

August 2018 Security Services & Risk Management, Residential Estate (Industry)

As is the case with many residential estates, there is a guard on duty at the entrance gate 24 hours per day. In this case, a security officer was stationed in the guard room at the entrance to a newly-built residential complex in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. During his shift, he was alerted to two men making their way up the road leading to the complex.

Upon enquiring whether they were visiting residents of the complex, the two men stormed the guard room and assaulted the officer. During the scuffle, the officer dropped his Active Track device. However, the assailants took little notice of this and proceeded to remove the CCTV equipment, the officer’s possessions and finally the dropped device. One of the attackers fled down the road and into a waiting vehicle, while the other climbed the gate and proceeded towards the apartments.

Unbeknown to the assailants, the Active Track device has a built-in alarm ­function which is triggered when the device is dropped. All alarms are linked to the Active Track 24-hour call centre which allows the support team to respond to the alarm events. Often, the appropriate action is to place a silent call to the device to listen in on the scene and thereafter notify the security company of the findings. This is made possible by the Active Track’s GSM, GPRS and GSM capabilities, working in conjunction with Active Track’s cloud-based support software.

In following with its processes, the call centre placed a silent call to the device which resulted in the officer’s employer dispatching a reaction vehicle to the complex. The call centre was also able to provide the device’s live GPS location which showed that the Active Track had left the complex and was approaching the highway.

Within minutes, the security company had arrived on site to intercept and arrest the assailant in the complex, which it successfully did. However, on searching the him, none of the stolen property was found.

A call from the support centre confirmed that the Active Track had become stationery and was located on the shoulder of the highway, evidently discarded by the assailants. While the CCTV equipment and officer’s cell phone were badly damaged, the Active Track device was in good working order largely due to its rugged and water-poof design.

Pursuant to the SAPS’ swift response, the attackers were arrested and charged for their actions.


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