Use security wisely says TSCL

| 03/11/2009

(CNS): As crime levels continue to increase across the community, local experts are advising the public to make sure they choose the correct security partner for their needs and utilise the security measures they already have properly. Lamenting the number of people who don’t turn on burglar alarms, forget to put tapes in their CCTV or to lock valuables in their safes, Frank Brennan, Vice President at The Security Centre Ltd, said there is no point in spending money on security equipment if you don’t make the very best use of it to protect your family, your property and your business.

 “It is amazing how many people invest in sophisticated equipment and then either don’t use it or don’t use it properly,” said Brennan. “When you have been robbed it’s too late to lock those valuables in the safe or put a tape in the VCR. Business and home owners all need to take a good look at what securitymeasures they already have and make sure they are making the most of them.”

In addition to reviewing your current security and life safety procedures, the firm you choose is just as important as the policies and systems you put in place.  “There are over 30 security companies licensed to operate in the Cayman Islands but there are no real standards for issuance of such a license,” says the firm’s President and Chief Executive, Stuart Bostock.  “If you honestly want to benefit from security then you have to carefully consider the company you choose, as you are investing not only in the actual system or service being offered but also the expertise of the firm, the management, legal representation, insurance policies, responsiveness and ability to provide a full solution,” he added.  

There are several factors to consider when implementing security measures.  For instance, people using security surveillance equipment not only need to know the recording capabilities of a CCTV system but need to understand what the cameras are pointing at and how much of the image is focused on the primary target. Also, owners may have cameras at the main entrance or pointed at the areas where staff are serving customers but not necessarily on rear entrances, parking lots or cash handling areas.

“Owners need to think like criminals when they look at their security measures and to consider how a robber or a burglar would behave if they were to get into the business premises. Where would they look for valuables and cash? Where would they be most likely to gain access?  If it was a hold-up during business hours, where would most of your cash or valuables be?”

Brennan said that by asking themselves those questions owners can determine the best position for their cameras to be. He also warned owners not to fall into the trap of thinking it won’t happen to them.  The range of incidents and the types of businesses being targeted over the past few months is evident that anyone can be a victim.  However, owners of expensive jewellery shops or high-end goods often have high levels of security so criminals, as evidenced by the recent spate of robberies, are far more likely to go after what would be seen as softer targets, often with less security but still with cash on the premises. Criminals know that the stores selling diamonds and Rolexes are likely to have invested in high-end security equipment and that it won’t be as easy as perhaps the unsuspecting drug store right next door.

“Just because you own a tyre business, a clothing store, a drycleaners, or corner grocery shop doesn’t mean you can’t become a target,” Brennan added. “Robbers and burglars are looking for places where they can gain entry as easily as possible, get straight to the cash and then make their escape as quickly as possible. Building layers and making those three things as difficult as you can for the would-be robber will make your business less likely to become a target.”

Following the recent advice from the RCIPS that business and home owners should fit alarms, Brennan agreed but noted that once you have a system it is essential to use it properly and make sure that monitoring of alarms and response to activations are handled by those in the industry that have the expertise and resources available at all times. “Even if you’re just popping out for a short time, put the alarm on and make sure, especially if you have had your system for some time, that it is working properly.”

Bostock also says business owners and residential customers need to consider the entire security picture and build those layers of protection.  Look at parking lots and property lines as well as the physical premises in order to protect customers and staff. “Fencing and lighting is a deterrent to those who look for vulnerable dark areas as the ideal place to make their attack. If business owners have multiple cameras, it is worth training them onto the parking lots as well, but at the very least make sure your patrons are parking in areas that are well lit.  If possible, have a licensed security officer from a recognised security company on the premises who can walk guests to and from their cars and provide extra eyes and ears for your business,” Bostock said.

Fighting crime is everybody’s business and there are many things that people can do to minimise their vulnerability. But itis not always expensive; sometimes it’s about making the most of what you already have.  The Security Centre Limited offers free on-site crime prevention surveys for homeowners and businesses to help them identify weaknesses in their security and help them reduce their risk within affordable budgets. The goal is always to make your property or premises unwelcoming to those with criminal intentions. The more you can eliminate the circumstances which the opportunist criminal is looking for, the less likely your are to become a victim.

“Not everyone’s vulnerability to crime is the same,” Brennan noted. “That is why at the Security Centre Limited we offer free, no obligation assessments to guide people through their own particular risk to crime. Sometimes the solution can be very simple – not everyone needs security cameras. It may be that just a small safe and an inexpensive but effective alarm can be enough to protect your valuables.”

But making the decision to assess your security after you’ve been robbed, which is what most people tend to do, is too late, he warned.

For more details on how to keep you, your family and your property safe, contact The Security Centre Ltd at Unit B1, Cayman Business Park, 10A Huldah Avenue or call 949 0004 or visit

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