It is indeed heartening to see the several inputs from the various security experts including the likes of Clairmonte Featherstone who, if my memory serves me right, attended my old school, Fountain AME; Rohan Singh, Head, Presidential Guard; Alan Gates; and columnist Allan Fenty who has done yeoman service with his Crime Watch contributions.
It is to be hoped that these interventions receive the highest level of attention they unquestionably deserve from citizens. For my part I am often puzzled that some persons who on a daily basis conduct business in sums of millions allow themselves to lapse and consequently suffer tremendous losses at the hands of bandits. I am sure that as much as I may not be able to add much to what the above-named esteemed gentlemen have all contributed to informing citizens’ security, none of them would contradict my argument that what we need is a society that understands the need for situational awareness at all material times.
With that thought in mind I wish to suggest that business persons should avail themselves of the opportunity to be trained in the prevention art of surveillance detection. My thinking is that the Guyana Police Force should be equipped with the necessary manpower to facilitate such an undertaking in the same way that it offers sessions in its provisional learner-driver programme. If this is not possible because of GPF manpower constraints, then it is only reasonable that such training should be made available by a suitably qualified individual or consortium.
Editor, we all bemoan the frequent reported losses (and can only speculate on those which are unreported for one reason or another), but it goes without saying that these bandits are becoming emboldened by business persons’ apparent careless use of information, complacency, and a seeming unwillingness to take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
Among the first things anyone who is serious about personal safety and security should do is construct a Personal Security Profile (PSP) which identifies both current security measures and the gaps in personal security. The profile is also useful when creating route and building reviews which focus on routine behaviours and activities. The factors which are normally considered in a PSP are (i) travel from home to work; (ii) travel from work to home; (iii) routine appointments and social activities; (iv) security at the home; (v) security at the workplace; and (vi) situational awareness. Both (i) and (ii) assess issues such as departure time; arrival time; method of transportation; available routes; random route variance; routine stops; self-driven etc; presence of security detail; parking; secure parking area.
Space does not permit me to elaborate on the other elements of a PSP except to say that these are only a few of the very important aspects of our personal security that are doable by all of us if we are to live in a relative degree of comfort and safety.