There is a growing trend among homeowners and tenants in South Africa that corresponds directly to the rise in crime. The concept is not unique to South Africa but has in the past few years rooted itself deeply into our existence. We’ve now got an estate for just about any kind of lifestyle you want to live – golf, country, equestrian, retirement and eco-friendly. You name it, there’s an estate for it. While the idea behind an estate that lets you live your life the way you want it is fantastic, things aren’t always as they seem.
Most of what residential estates will offer South African’s is safety and unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. There is definitely an increased prevention of small-scale crime, but this isn’t the type of crime you should be worried about. South Africa’s infiltration of organised and violent crime can still affect you behind the walls of your estate. Here’s how:
A perimeter isn’t everything
The high walls, electric fencing and motion detection cameras in an estate all do a wonderful job in deterring crime. This certainly protects you from most home robberies, petty theft and hijacking, but what it doesn’t guarantee you protection from, is organised crime. Once criminals have gained access to the estate, there is not much between them and their target.
There is also a growing trend in estates where a crime syndicate will move into a home for a short period of time, during which they monitor the behaviour of residents. They use this time to plan and calculate their attacks, as well as to gain easy access to the estate. It may seem like a tedious process but when the reward is high enough, it’s a risk the criminals are willing to take.
VIP’s and business executives are particularly at risk of this high profile crime due to well-known wealth status. VIP’s and executives should take extra precautions to ensure their safety and the safety of their families.
Entry and exit points
The gates of an estate don’t seem like the optimal spot for criminals with the increased number of guards and patrol cars present. However, they are actually a crime hotspot when it comes to hijackings as people tend to relax as they approach the gates. Access controlled gates also mean that during peak hour traffic, you may become a sitting target in the line to get into your estate. But these entrances aren’t the biggest problem in terms of resident safety, as we discuss in depth below.
A false sense of security
The main security problem when it comes to estate living is that people inside the estate become complacent. When you live in a “safe” environment, you tend to put your guard down and ignore nagging suspicions that might pose a risk to your safety. This way, you end up missing something that could have alerted you to trouble. Your children are also at risk of heinous crimes like kidnapping for ransom. For more on this issue, see our blog on the issue of child kidnapping in South Africa.
Here are some tips to help you stay vigilant and measures you should take to stay safe:
- Take caution when leaving and entering estate gates
- Keep car doors locked and windows closed, even when inside the gates
- Keep front doors of your home locked
- Install an alarm system in your home
- Report suspicious behaviour in the community
- Make sure you’re domestic staff and gardeners have references and understand the importance of safety precautions in the home
- Don’t leave valuables in a visible place where passers-by can see them
- Get to know your neighbours surrounding your home and be active in the community discussions to increase your knowledge of issues and events that take place
Lifestyle estates offer many benefits to your standard of living. But if you’re looking for the perfect solution for your safety and the safety of your family, a security estate is not enough. If you need a holistic security solution, contact Arcangel Protection Services today.