News Flash-February 2014

   Dear Clients,

For the past 22 years I have been involved in the armed reaction industry, within the City Bowl area. In the early 90’s, approximately 1 in every 10 households had an alarm linked to a monitoring company and upon activation SAPS were dispatched to investigate.  Eventually as the number of alarms increased, SAPS became unable to cope with all the call-outs, thus giving rise to monitoring companies putting reaction vehicles on the road.  Just as the armed reaction industry has changed and grown over the past 20 years, so too, has the nature of crime changed.

During recent discussions held in December 2013 with colleagues who own similar companies to CBAR, the discussion turned to the different types of crimes being perpetrated in various areas, ranging from the southern suburbs to the northern suburbs.  As usual, I concurred that we too have a number of house break-ins, theft out of motor vehicles and other day to day criminal activities, but stated that, thankfully there is very little, if ever, any violent acts committed whilst these crimes were taking place.

Since January 2014, I have for the first time noticed a big surge in violence being associated with criminal acts.   There was an instance recently where a domestic worker and her employer in the Gardens area were brutally attacked by two intruders before stealing household goods.  We recently responded to an armed robbery in progress at a shop on Kloofnek Road, where there were 8 suspects involved, many of whom were seen carrying firearms. On another instance 4 Suspects were also arrested in a motor vehicle on De Waal Drive by SAPS, all of these suspects were wanted for various cases, including house break-in and robbery.  These are just to name a few.

CBAR has a very good working relationship with SAPS and attend weekly meetings with them to share information and to receive updates on recent criminal activity in our area of operation.

The reason for mentioning this shift in criminal behaviour is to make you all aware of the fact that there are some nasty criminals out there.  There is nothing in your home or business that is worth losing a life over.  Should you be confronted by intruders and unable to flee, please comply with their instructions, give them what they want and do not show aggression, so that they may leave as soon as possible.  They will be looking primarily for jewellery, firearms cash and other electronic goods.  It is not unusual for them to steal a motor vehicle upon departure.

Access to premises;

Due to the increase in crime, many households have fortified their outdoor perimeters with electric fencing, barbed wire, spikes, beams etc.  This does have a good visual deterrent value, but unfortunately the flip side to this is that it makes it exceptionally, if not impossible for armed reaction officers to gain access into theproperty.  Criminals rarely access a property directly from the front unless removing sliding gates, but prefer to property hop.  This involves accessessing a more easily accessible property 2 or 3 houses down from the targeted property and climbing over the boundary walls between them.  The front of a property is usually better protected than the sides or the rear and hence the reason for this.  When the alarm is activated at some point, the armed reaction officer arrives at the property to be faced with all the deterrent barriers erected.

They, unlike the criminals cannot access properties that are not contracted to CBAR and hence rely mostly on entering the front of the premises.

CBAR has a number of solutions to give access to the reaction officers that maybe responding to an alarm or panic activation from a client in dire need of assistance. The officer now finds that he is unable to enter without having to get a key holder to attend.  These include a Masterlock (Lock Box with a digital keypad), which provides for safe storage for a key or a small remote, which is mounted on an external wall.  Alternatively a wireless/ hard wired digital keypad can be installed at the front gate or entrance.  These need to be linked to a strike lock or a gate motor.  For further details regarding access control solutions please contact our technical department on 0860 151515.

Once again, please be vigilant and notify us and your neighbourhood watch should you observe any suspicious behaviour, as this is your area of residence as well as business and you will be aware of any behaviour that is out of the ordinary.

There are still a number of clients whose alarm systems are activating on an almost daily basis and need to be serviced / repaired.  Please ensure your alarm installer whether it be CBAR or a private installer, attend to these overactive alarms.  The number of unnecessary callouts to false alarms is exceptionally high and has a negative effect on the operation due to wasted callouts which has a knock on effect as far as cost to company in time and fuel is concerned.

Lastly, a letter of gratitude “We had a break in on Tuesday 25 Feb at 11h17, at **** Street in University Estate.  Our cleaner was alone in the house, and she called me at work to tell me that someone had broken in, and that she had run into one of our bedrooms and locked herself in.  I called City Bowl immediately, and the Woodstock Police after.  I arrived at the house to find both City Bowl and the police there before me – your men’s response time must have been under 5 minutes.  Not only were they quick to respond, but they were also extremely helpful and reassuring.  They checked the entire property, were very useful in helping us figure out exactly what happened, stayed to take more information, and there was even a second vehicle there shortly thereafter to provide further assistance too.  I was very impressed.  I am sorry I did not get the details of the people who did respond, but I am sure you can obtain this information from the despatcher.  Please communicate our gratitude to them and to Alan as well.  I think they did a fantastic job, and I will be sure to communicate this to the University Estate Resident’s Association too”. 

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Kind regards and best wishes

Alan Kusevitsky and the CBAR Team