Securing residential and golf estates

May 2008 Residential Estate (Industry)

Residential complexes and estates have invested heavily in high-tech security equipment like beams, night vision cameras, fingerprint access control systems etc, but have found that criminals are ingenious in bypassing these systems.

If they cannot bypass the systems, posing as contractors, Telkom, water meter readers etc, they merely rent a property inside the estate and use that as a base from where they can commit crimes inside the estate.

This emphasises the importance of using the best available technical equipment combined with accurate human intelligence in a bid to ensure the safety of residents and identify criminals posing as residents.

All of these estates are frequented by contractors on a daily basis and effective perimeter security is made a mockery if security officers and access control systems are forced to allow unaccredited contractor staff into the complexes. Criminals bribe security officers to circumvent fingerprint access control systems and any system becomes as effective as the integrity of the human element that manages it.

In most cases the value of observant maids, gardeners and maintenance staff is ignored. A maid watch linked to a 'whistle-blowing' system, where honest employees can anonymously supply valuable information on criminal activities and the methods used to get past high-tech security solutions, could prove to be invaluable.

The use of 'undercover agents' employed as maids, gardeners, electricians, security etc, have proven highly successful in gathering intelligence on criminal elements and identifying security breaches inside estates. This enables the security management of estates to identify vulnerable points in the system and methods used to nullify high-tech security solutions.

The professional vetting and identification of all staff and contractors that are authorised to operate inside an estate has become critical in the current crime situation in South Africa, and no high-tech security solution can function effectively if vetting is not done professionally (ie, pre-engagement polygraph test or criminal record check).

In order to prevent collusion within the security complement it is suggested that the security management, perimeter security officers and CCTV control room staff be outsourced to different security providers so that they can monitor each other and report malpractices by any party.

The compilation of a database of suspect vehicles, suspect individuals and suspect contractors also enables the security staff to prevent crimes rather than investigate incidents that have already occurred. Liaison with surrounding SAPS stations and other community watch organisations and the exchange of information is vital in this regard.

For more information contact Symbiotix, +27 (0)86 000 5 111,,

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Efficient security monitoring and control
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020 , Residential Estate (Industry)
PowerManage is a cloud-based virtual control room tool for residential estates to self-monitor their security solutions.

Directory listings
Residential Estate Security Handbook 2020 , Residential Estate (Industry)

Visitor management for estates
Access & Identity Management Handbook 2020, Powell Tronics , Residential Estate (Industry), Access Control & Identity Management
Residential estates and business parks around South Africa have installed access control systems that aim to streamline access for both pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

Residential Estate Security Conference 2019
October 2019, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, Residential Estate (Industry), Conferences & Events
Hi-Tech Security Solutions hosted the Residential Estate Security Conference in August, focusing on the people, technology and processes involved in an effective security solution for estates.

Frictionless access with a wave
October 2019, IDEMIA , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
IDEMIA was the Platinum Sponsor for the Residential Estate Security Conference 2019 and set up its MorphoWave Compact frictionless fingerprint biometric scanner at the entrance to the conference.

Streamlined access and reporting
October 2019, Comb Communications , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
The main focus of the Comb stand was its practical demonstration of the MK II Lite intercom system with third-party integrated products.

A committed service provider
October 2019, Elf Rentals - Electronic Security Solutions , Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Residential Estate (Industry)
The theme Elf promoted through its sponsorship was that it offers clients its own financial commitment and willingness to accept the risk of equipment failure.

Thermal cameras with artificial intelligence
October 2019, Dahua Technology South Africa , Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Residential Estate (Industry)
Dahua Technology showcased solutions that are important to residential estates, namely perimeter protection.

Customised and integrated solutions
October 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
iVisit offers both high-end and low-end residential complexes a cost-effective visitor management solution that is fully integrated into Suprema's offerings.

Securing estate perimeters
October 2019, Nemtek Electric Fencing Products , Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Residential Estate (Industry)
Nemtek has a range of products designed to secure the perimeters of estates, however its display at the conference focused on its Network Energizer and its Dual-Action Tension Sensor.