Issued by Perfect Word Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Throughout operational periods, most commercial/industrial sectors and business premises are a hive of activity. With staff constantly occupying the premises, the threat of external crime is usually kept to a minimum. In general, during operational periods, standard armed response and alarm systems are sufficient to protect the business against break-ins or damage to property. Yet, as the festive season approaches, businesses must consider a unique approach to remain secure.

According to Jacki Condon, Managing Director of Apache Security Services, short-term protection contracts are the best approach to thwarting criminal action during the festive season. “Over the holiday period, most commercial and industrial sectors shut down, leaving the premises unoccupied, and largely open to the threat of theft and damage to property. To mitigate against these threats, businesses should enter into short-term contracts to bolster their defences.”

Condon believes long-term contracts, over and above the usual armed response, are not necessary as these sectors are usually well protected during the operational period of the year. Instead, businesses should take the unique approach of entering into short-term agreements to cover the additional vulnerabilities arising during the festive “silly” season.

There are two inevitable consequences that arise when businesses close their doors for the holidays. Firstly, criminals are given the opportunity to scout the property and take their time in evaluating the weaknesses in the property’s defences. With no activity on-site, it becomes much easier to enter the premises,” advises Condon. “The second consequence is that, unfortunately, security staff that are on site have little to no supervision. The festive season often sees spikes of sleeping or drinking on the job, creating even greater vulnerability.”

For this reason, a short-term contract with an external protection provider is a critical factor in securing the business premises. Effective contracts would include additional guards to patrol as well as spot checks by supervisors (conducting breathalysers and tracking guarding activities).

Should an incident occur, having an impartial and expert investigative team on board is a great advantage. “Often thefts occur while management and staff are travelling and aren’t available to handle a crisis,” adds Condon. “Should a breach occur, an immediate investigation can be launched including capturing crime scene photographs, conducting witness interviews and managing the process to ensure that vital evidence is not lost. Services such as polygraphs offer excellent insight into how and why these events transpired.“ Armed response and police services are usually inundated with call outs, false alarms and a spike in criminal activity during this period. As a result crime scenes are often left unattended and evidence is not collected in a timeous manner, making investigating these crimes virtually impossible.

Don’t fall prey to festive season crime,” concludes Condon. “Inadequate protection is an unnecessary gamble, and could result in a failure to guard against foreseeable risks, which simply doesn’t make business sense. It is essential to understand your exposure and take responsible action.”

For more information, please contact Jacki Condon: