I feel that security has nothing to do with the stated object of keeping you and your family safe from evil. If you look at the average "specials" on sale you will find a very basic alarm system linked to an armed response company. From what we know (substantial research was done on this) the armed robbers do not see that as a threat at all. What they fear is CCTV cameras and a dog inside the house. The rest are just insurance obligations.
Some of you will remember back in the eighties we had these colossal gear and steering locks in our cars. As a deterrent against car thieves they were as much use as a packet of Lexington cigarettes fastened against the exhaust pipe. The thieves simply poured hydrogen or something on it and then shattered the frozen metal with a single blow. Took them seconds to do this and yet, every second car had it and the reason is your insurance policy.
You may have heard me saying that compliance is the new buzzword in Africa but in fact it's been around a long time. Simply it means you have to (note not maybe) comply with whatever the nice fellow from the insurance company wants. If your contract states that you must have burglar bars everywhere (even if against fire regulations) and you don't, they simply will not pay you and there is nothing you can do in law about it. As time moved on the gear lock became an immobiliser and these days tracking. Fair enough you would say but my question is how effective is this "forced insurance based" security?
That fancy security (alarm & response) contract you sign with the ex-Special Forces (yeah sure) agent is in law nothing but a cell phone contract. I drafted them many times for the largest security company in the world so I should know. And when you add the indemnities (another word for shirking responsibility) they come down to one thing - the monthly instalment which is what all security companies desperately want. That is where they pay salaries (pathetic by any rate) from and obtain millions in overdrafts they have to service and hence run like rats around forever selling more contracts. It is a great money spinner.
Once again I ask if the solution is adapted to you or is it a "one fits all" solution. By now you will know the answer and if the contract looks familiar to you it is - it is exactly the same as the cell phone contract signed by you every two years. You get something which may or may not be suitable and pays every month for the "privilege" of getting a substandard system. And you know what, despite my books warning of this and despite this blog, the merry go around gambling with your life will continue unabated. As long as your insurance says X then X it will be and 90% of the customers will only realize they got bullsh-ted when their wife is raped in front of them and they themselves subjected to burning water and hot irons as happens with home invasions.
Is it possible to become safer? Yes of course - it is not brain surgery to download my books on Home Security and the Security Plan to be implemented. In fact tens of thousands are doing so already and it saved many lives. Nevertheless as the clever salesman says, "there is more." I have a desire to change the security market to something which is actually effective in preventing loss of life rather than the usual run of the mill security based on insurance needs we have today. Hence we have a new briefing, short and to the point, on Home Invasion Survival Techniques which I intend spreading around. It is not complex and taken from both the above books and also our Hostage Survival Briefing which is a lot more complex and for corporates (much more expensive too).
In my latest book, Better Men, we spoke of the need for men to stand up and take control and command of their households. This includes the safety of your family and you better not fail. I wonder, like previous generations did during World War 1 & 2, is there anyone who does not know a victim of violent crime? Perhaps a few well protected long haired politicians would answer negatively but I suspect most would say "yes, we know many or ourselves were attacked." So if you know there is an excellent chance of being attacked, should you not do something about it? Like sitting down with experts and asking for advice which actually works?
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.