The farming community in South Africa is under pressure as crime cripples the communities who have to literally live and work in fear of their lives. If farmers are not protected the entire food security of South Africa is at risk.
Below is an insert written by Stephan Hofstätter, a journalist for Business Day and it shows the grim state of affairs the farming community has to operate under.
“South Africa – How to stop a farm attack
23 Mar 2010”
“Crime cost the sector R635 million a year, including R212 million in security costs and R65 million in losses from absence due to crime-related injuries. The Red Meat Producers Organisation put the total loss to stock theft in 2008/09 at R366 million. Stats SA figures from 2007 showed equipment theft cost farmers R160 million and crop theft R65 million.” – Stephan Hofstätter.
The above situation can be handled by farmers and farming communities if control and detection mechanisms are implemented to generate early warning solutions to farms that are under attack by would be perpetrators.
Farms are easy targets for criminals who are aware that the police are not close by; therefore criminals will continually attack vulnerable farmers.
This need not be the case, as solutions can now be implemented in open areas, such as farms, in a very cost effective manner. Farmers can now implement mobile surveillance cameras to monitor the perimeter of the farms. These mobile cameras require no 220 VAC mains power as electricity can now be generated by wind turbines and solar panels with battery back-up, and some cameras have a 360°, 2 km field of view with built in infrared capabilities that can monitor up to 200 m in the dark. These mobile cameras can be deployed very rapidly by the farmers themselves and can be monitored from the main farmhouse and at the local police station. In this scenario, response can be immediate and the farmer will be aware of intruders when they enter his farm, giving him the ability to make the right decision.
Farmers also have the ability to create field-proven buried cable intrusion detection solutions for covert perimeter protection. Farmers can now use solutions such as volumetric terrain-following sensors that will reliably detect and precisely locate walking, running or crawling intruders along a farm’s perimeter. The solution consists of two pairs of sensor cables and can be buried along a farm’s perimeter in soil, asphalt or concrete. A detection field is created around the sensor cable pair, enabling the detection of intruders.
The sensors will pinpoint the location of the perimeter that has been breached. Rain, snow and other environmental conditions will not affect the solution. Furthermore, these sensors can operate in conjunction with mobile cameras, giving the farmer visual confirmation whenever the sensors detect an intruder.
Farmers need not live in fear. If these basic solutions are implemented, farmers can take back their lives and the South African Police Service can partner with the farming community so that effective policing and farming can create a cohesive partnership to stop crime against the very industry that each and every South African depends on.
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