About Crime

[To avoid crime, you must understand it; not how it ‘was’, but how it ‘is’. We urge you to invest a few moments to digest this section; it may save you a fortune… it may even save a life.]

A decade and more ago the law had ‘teeth’. Crime wasn’t a career lightly taken.

Police aside, if the homeowner caught you on his property, there was a good chance you’d wind up on the losing end.

Because of these ‘difficult-to-do-crime’ conditions, there was much less crime and, consequently, more time for police to hunt down criminals even after they’d run.

Even worse news for burglars back then was the sheer bulk of the booty; VCRs and microwaves were hottest items – but not exactly something you could stuff into your pockets and walk down the street as just another pedestrian.

…And Now

Today’s Robbers are after your cell phone, your wallet, iPod, laptop and key (to safe and car).

But, what do these valuables have in common? You carry them with you.

So – for a burglar, there’s no point in breaking in when you’re out – so the burglar changes his modus and the definition of his crime to become a robber and targets you; personally; when you’re home.

And, playing right into the criminal’s hands; the police and courts are overwhelmed, and the average citizen much less likely than in the past to resist.

So the threat is ‘personal’ – ‘you’ are the target.

This statement is not to be alarmist – it is to give you a realistic understanding of the current state of crime. With this knowledge and understanding you can design your security more appropriately, spend your budget more wisely, and save a lot of money.
Intelligence (not Drama) is your key to safety
Every crime victim you talk to has an alarm system with a working siren; so how did they become a victim of surprise attack?

Like everyone else, they deactivated their system and siren the moment they arrived home! Even though “we put it on when we go to bed though…“, this didn’t help them during those vulnerable hours when they cooked, relaxed and entertained. Somehow they think that it’s only when one’s asleep that one is vulnerable.

When we ask, “But why don’t you turn your alarm on?“; their answer is always the same; “I can’t live with my alarm active all the time“.

But, why not? “Because the siren and armed response (and intricate setup of zone exclusion) are too much of an aggravation to bother with“.
Our clients initially want ‘me-too’ solutions
Because they’ve not thought the situation through and are just repeating the same outdated popular ‘wisdom’, every client who inquires about our systems wants a siren and automated armed response when the system triggers.

Yes, we can provide these facilities, but, remember, it’s precisely the sirens and automated armed response that cause clients to not use their systems; putting them right back where they’d be with a standard alarm – in which case, why bother adding our system to their standard alarm?
Popular wisdom – “a siren will sort the problem out” – is totally outdated. The tragic evidence is in every newspaper you open. Crime has changed its profile. What used to work no longer works:
Think Like a Thief
To understand crime you first need to be ‘in a criminal’s mind’.

Criminals come in two varieties – both categories include individuals and syndicates, and both have well planned and orchestrated as well as opportunist specialists:
1) Professionals
Who make it a career out of crime. They do their homework and come well prepared; and
2) Drug Dependants
Who are desperate and simply don’t care. They’re brutal and take massive risks no sane person would; and are therefore not halted by ordinary security measures that are designed to dissuade a sane person!

Both groups target you When You’re Home, and both groups are deadly dangerous.

Because you might find it interesting, we’ll cover these two groups in more detail further down this page. But first – Why do they target you ?
Economics of Crime
Like any business, crime is a risk-versus-reward enterprise: The greatest reward for the least risk.

As a law-abiding citizen, you’d imagine that the ‘risk’ is risk posed by your dogs, electric fences, armed response and even the home owner’s firearm; but, sadly, none of this is true. Remember – one group comes prepared, the other group is totally irrational.

Criminals, by their very definition, don’t follow normal rules, they break them:

  • They brutally deal with dogs
  • When they break down your electric fence they know it triggers an alarm, so when they breach your fence they’re not intending to get over the wall or fence there and then. They know it will take days or weeks to fix, during which time your guard will drop. So, breaking your electric fence is just the first step; an investment into a future harvest.
  • The best armed response in the world still gives a criminal (who’s heard your siren) plenty of time to be off the property and become just another untouchable pedestrian on the street who has rights that nobody can interfere with
  • And… your firearm? The law is on the criminal’s, not yours – and he knows and exploits that fact. Yes, you can shoot him and maybe ‘get away with it’ – but it will cost you months and years of legal stress and costs you really don’t want to know about

All in a day’s work
How many criminal intrusions will you deal with in a lifetime? A year? A month?

A criminal counts his experience not in very occasional occurrences – to ask him the same question you’d have to ask “…in a week?” or “…in an average night?“.

The point is – when he’s on your property, he has much more experience then you do. Sirens, confrontation, gunshots, etc; these are not new for him; they’re part of his job description. When he crosses your boundary, he knows precisely what he’s going to do – you only think you do.

Another nasty factor most of us don’t think about… The law says that you must obey certain rules; some of us feel we can break them in self defense “I’ll shoot him dead”. Fine – you can do that; but there will be consequences. He plays by different rules; by no rules. When you shoot him, you have nowhere to run; you must face legal recourse head on. When he does whatever he does, it’s up and over the wall, and into the night. And you know, and he knows, that even if he’s caught – what really happens to him? Nothing. The ‘business risk’ is all in his favour.

If you have perfect knowledge of where he is (but he doesn’t realize it); the whole situation swings completely into your favour: Dangerous (to you) confrontation is reduced, clean capture is boosted, conviction is assured.
A robber’s real risk
A robber’s only real risk is in being identified as he crosses your boundary, and dealt withintelligently. As stated above, his risk is completely eliminated when he’s given an automated (siren) warning to run (and return another day, better prepared).
But, the reward aspect is more important: When nobody’s home, neither are the small-size/high-value things he seeks: cell phone, laptop, wallet contents and keys to safe and car.
You’re the target; When you’re home
When it’s clear that nobody is home (in your house), you, as an honest citizen, would imagine that a burglar would see it as an opportunity. But that’s not how he sees it. Why would he? Your alarm will certainly be on and, more importantly, what valuables are inside that he wants? Today’s criminals no longer want your VCR or microwave – they’re after small, high value items:

With a car in the driveway or light on, a criminal sees your house as ripe for picking. He is pretty sure you don’t want the aggravation of a siren, so your alarm is probably off and a window probably open. All he needs to do is get inside undetected; and suddenly you’re skirting the edge of a deadly situation you don’t even see coming.

At this point, his risk really is low – and his reward is maximized; tens of thousands or rands in a few items he can carry down the road without arousing any suspicion at all.
Every intruder has a Plan-B
When an intruder inspects your property (and, remember, the pro’s have studied your setup and are well prepared, while the drug lunatics ‘just don’t care’), he knows all about garden beams and always sets up an escape route if he triggers them. Infact, he probably knows as much about alarms as your security installer; it’s his ‘job’ to know. He knows that wired systems must be set up in a very predictable way. When he sees a beam and you’re home, he’s pretty sure it’s turned off. If he suspects it’s on, he has various ways to trying and get round it.

Again; when he makes his attempt, he does so with a Plan-B very much in his mind; the instant he hears your siren (it’s his best friend that alerts and keeps him safe!), he executes the plan and either attacks of flees. Whether he attacks or flees, it’s highly unlikely you’ll catch him this day.
The effects of a siren
So, the siren goes off and he runs – does the sound of the siren send him into therapy? Definitely not! He hears and expects to hear several sirens per night; you’re much more likely to need the expensive therapy. In fact, the siren doesn’t even send him home in fear, he won’t even leave your neighbourhood! And, next time he’s on your property, he’ll remember precisely one more obstacle to avoid in his attempt.
Silent betrayal terrifies any criminal
And this brings us full circle: Criminals target you when you’re home. They either expect to get prompted by a siren to run and try another day, or to catch you by surprise.

Think yourself into the criminal mind – you’re on a property and moving quietly. No siren has gone off; you’re sure you’re about to take the occupants by surprise. But, silently, inside of the house, the homeowners know about you – they’ve armed themselves and are watching you on CCTV or through windows. Armed response has been called, neighbours are alerted, neighbourhood watch is on its way.

Which is more terrifying to you, the criminal in that garden; and effective as a solution…? Yet another siren? Or a silent betrayer?
The fact is that the world is facing a recession and our currency has taken a tremendous hit. Good times will come again; hopefully soon; but between now and then, all you can do is protect yourself, and everything and every dream you’ve worked lifetimes to create.

The same is true for criminals (or just ordinary people who have lost jobs and hope) – they too face lean times. And, if you’re not prepared, their misfortunes will impact your life.

Poverty-equals-crime. As the global economic crises begins to bite, already we see crime and demand for voicealert solutions rapidly increasing.

The downside for all of us is that every security technology in South Africa is entirely or significant impacted by our devaluing rand (which has lost >40% of its dollar value). The result is that, with (personally threatening) crime increasing everywhere, do yourself a big favour and don’t wait before you buy. When stocks of product (or components) that were imported at more favourable rates is exhausted, expect to see all security product prices rise dramatically – it’s just a regrettable economic reality that we all face.

Don’t get caught out – without security and paying more.

Act now!