Tag Archives: Risk Identification

CRIME: Prevention is Better Than Cure


Crime is unfortunately not a very pleasant subject and is therefore also avoided in general despite the fact that the media relentlessly bombards us with horror stories. The already high crime rate in our country always appears to be on the rise. Often crime and security are not given much thought or serious consideration, as long as things are running smoothly and remain incident free. It is only usually when something happens and you find yourself or your loved ones / colleagues a victim of crime that the real value of security is realized and by then it is simply too late.

Photo Credit: pages.vassar.edu-750
Photo Credit: pages.vassar.edu


Typically our clients (both residential and business) have already spent thousands on security and their systems only to be targeted by a criminal attack in the future. It is only at this point that they realize there is something wrong with their security and it is obviously just not enough. Unfortunately, most South Africans only gain wisdom the hard way by suffering a disaster or a traumatic event. Attitudes towards crime and security need to be drastically altered. Why is it necessary to experience huge financial loss or even worse the loss of life or serious injury before it is understood how important security is?

Photo Credit: www.wibwnewsnow.com
Photo Credit: www.wibwnewsnow.com

The goal of the independent Security Consultant is to to arm all individuals, communities, homeowners, property developers, complex committees, residential and commercial estates, security and building managers as well as business owners with the necessary knowledge to ensure that they are ALWAYS IN CONTROL of their security. By having a Security Risk & Threat Assessment conducted you will be provided with the relevant skills and in-depth know-how to make your property more resistant to crime. A well-thought through Security Plan and professional recommendations for solutions will assist you in not wasting money unnecessarily. All factors within your security shall be considered and verified that they indeed complement each other and not hinder or affect each other in a negative or adverse way.  Please remember that sometimes there is no financial cost required in the solution but a change in attitude or routine is all that might be needed to remedy the problem.

A Security Risk Assessment conducted by an independent, professional and experienced assessor will help you to identify all risks and weaknesses in your security system that may create an opportunity for a crime to occur. By removing these opportunities, crime can proactively be prevented. Why wait until it is too late before you take action?

Assessing Risk Accurately


To date, there are no set rules, no uniformed checklist or any definitive means in which to determine risk. This is highly applicable to many assessors that attempt to define risk on a grading scale and rate areas and points within a property as low to high. Many variations of such applications exist, but generally the points range from the lowest or no risk at 1 and continue up to 5, indicating high risk. Simplification of this method may rate risk in just 3 categories only.

As independent Security Risk Consultants we view all risk as equal and firmly stick to the principle that risk cannot therefore be accurately graded or summed up in this manner. One of the reasons for this is that a given risk rating is not purely objective as there are no rules and therefore depends on the assessor conducting the security inspection. Background, experience, training, relevant security knowledge and personal aspects such as belief or being a victim of a crime oneself could affect the score as deduced by the assessor, which allows for misinterpretation and ultimately incorrect conclusions.

Risk Graph 1 - 5: Incorrect Process

For example, should an assessor be petite, overweight or even have a fear of heights, he / she may conclude that a particular wall is too high to climb and rate the perimeter as a 1, but a tall, strong and athletic individual who enjoys extreme sports like skydiving perhaps, would see the wall as no obstacle to himself / herself or a determined criminal, and would rate the wall higher on the scale. In the event that a crime occurs and this wall is used as access into the property, the first assessor would have been wrong and ultimately the crime would not have been prevented as a low risk rating excluded the wall from further security upgrades. Unfortunately too many companies have had such Security Risk Assessments done only to find thereafter that low rated areas were actually where incidents occur. Usually this is where the independent security advisor  is called in to reassess the security status.

Consider it even further and assume that 5 assessors are asked to rate this particular wall using the scale system. For each and every one of them, a different point could be selected for whatever reason or factors their opinion was based upon. Perhaps only one could be considered correct and that was if a 5 was given.  In our eyes all areas should be an automatic  5 and be considered, instead of being seen as high risk, but rather in terms of the opportunity present at this point for a crime to occur. When conducting a Threat Assessment, this is how we view risk –  in regards to opportunity and not probability. This approach has proven over the years to be more accurate than the scaling system.

The Process & Phases of the Security Risk Assessment

When dealing with the public, we have found that the actual process of the Security Risk Assessment is not always understood. Once we have explained all it involves, and how we are able to provide our clients with security solutions within a workable and comprehensive Security Plan, is the true value of this vital tool actually realised. The assessment process as conducted by an independent Security Advisor can be viewed as consisting of 2 phases which result in the compilation and completion of the Risk Assessment document.

The first initial phase is preceded by a formal meeting with the client to ensure that the scope of the assessment encompasses any additional expectations the client may have; besides those that we already provide. It is important that we meet these goals and only after this is agreed upon does the thorough investigation of the property begin. This involves the examination of a multitude of vastily different yet interconnected layers in regards to the physical security of the property, which spans over several days depending on the size of the site and the property type.  Security is not just hardware or the physical attributes of the building but consists of other aspects that most other assessors do not take into consideration. All these factors are viewed individually and also as a unit to determine an accurate overview of your current security status and the risk involved.

The Multiple facets within the Security Risk Assessment
The Multiple facets within the Security Risk Assessment

All the data gathered during the security inspection is analysed, audited and compared. At this point Phase 2 commences which covers the security solutions within the individually tailored Security Plan. A lot of in-depth research, and the consultation of experts in the field if so required, is necessary before the actual formulation of any recommendations are made possible. All suggestions that we provide are therefore solely based on the findings of the extensive investigation phase which reveals all the weakness and potential threats present that could provide opportunity for a crime to occur.

Upon completion of the assessment the client is handed a detailed Security Risk Assessment report which outlines and explains all the risks, as well as the provision of the various solutions to ensure that their properties will be effectively protected and therefore more resistant to crime. Through reverse crime engineering and the removal of the aspect of opportunity, successful crime prevention is made achievable. The Risk Assessment will ensure that all security into the future is built on a strong and solid foundation which will ultimately place you in control of your security.