Throughout the last decade South Africans have experienced an avalanche of seemingly endless crime; the current economic situation our country faces, resulting from COVID-19 will only serve to worsen and deepen the crime epidemic sweeping across South Africa.
Criminals frequently plan the crimes they will commit in detail with properties and people often watched and surveyed for weeks before the criminal acts. Because criminal escapades are often carefully planned and thought out, the actual event is enacted in a quick and efficient manner with little to no time wasted. The use of an insider is prevalent which enables criminals to gain much needed insight into the layout of the property, movements of the victims, and additional information that can be used by the criminals to mitigate risk.
As a result, law abiding citizens need to be vigilant, take necessary precautions, and upskill themselves in an effort to avoid being another statistic in the war against crime. A key principle of protecting oneself and their family against criminal activity is by being proactive.
What is proactive security?
Proactive security can be defined as the preventative steps taken by individuals to secure both their properties and themselves in a bid to divert any criminal activity taking place. It should be seen as an all-inclusive process involving your armed response and security provider, family and community at large. Being proactive about one’s security is a crucial step in avoiding becoming a target of criminals with the adage of “prevention is better than cure” ringing true.
There are a number of steps that can be taken to instate a more proactive approach to security:
Change up your routine
We often get stuck in our routine habits which is something that criminals look for and exploit. Ensuring you change your route regularly is an important proactive measure to take to prevent becoming a target.
Become more spatially aware
Typically, security companies are reactive forces that respond to alarms or panic activations to fixed locations. But what about the public space? Human beings tend to become complacent about the surroundings they frequent and live in. Adopting a proactive approach to security means becoming more spatially aware. If there is a suspicious person/s and or a vehicle that looks out of place, contact your local security company to investigate. This interrupts potential criminal planning and shows would-be criminals that they are not the only ones doing the surveillance.
Improve your physical security
Ensure that your alarm system is linked to your security company and is in working order. Regularly do a 360-check of your property to ensure there are no gaps in the fences or walls, and that electric fencing is in working order. Ensure that your property has adequate light. A well-lit property acts as a deterrent for criminals.
Get more involved in your community
Within every community, there is usually a dominant security provider. Getting involved in your area of residence and understanding the crime challenges faced by your community and security company pertaining to crime is important. Engage with your security company, ask for assistance, report all suspicious activities in and around your property, and encourage your neighbours to do the same. The power of proactivity cannot be understated and transcends to all facets of one’s life with the onus not solely resting on the security provider.
Leverage Smart technology
The emergence of smart technology has provided an extra layer of security to bolster proactive efforts in the fight against crime. ‘Smart’ stands for Self-monitored Analysis and Reporting Technology and can take the form of CCTV monitoring software or on-demand emergency response solutions. Download an on-demand emergency response application that allows you to request emergency response at the touch of a button. Join a tracking application and encourage family members to do the same. In an age where technology is very prevalent, it is up to us to leverage and harness its ability to provide real-time data and tracking to get help to our loved ones. Simply informing family or friends when you are going to and from your intended location is already a proactive measure that could save your life.
Be more medically prepared
Proactivity is not reserved solely for the security industry. Being proactive can greatly assist medical response companies in providing effective response services in the event of a medical emergency. Ensure you keep your medical aid card on-person, make use of visible stickers that indicate the medical aid you belong to and wear a medical bracelet if you have any pertinent medical conditions.
In a country plagued by crime, thousands of road deaths per year and medical emergencies emanating from any and all situations, taking charge of your safety is of paramount importance.
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, this cannot be more prevalent when it comes to you and your loved one’s physical and medical safety. Take charge of your life, harness the power of being proactive and ensure you do not become the next victim.