Kingswood Security: Top-level planning kick-starts KGE’s three-year security strategy27th Jun 2022
The Security and Risk Subcommittee of the Kingswood Board, under the chairmanship of Kingswood Golf Estate (KGE) trustee Chris Horsley, shared exciting news about plans in the 2022-25 pipeline – albeit in the context of ever-changing security technology.
High crime, low economics
Both private and public service providers are being challenged in their delivery of effective and reliable security measures and systems. Importantly, these systems have to be appropriate to the property they are tasked to protect.
Taking into account the national scourge of ever-rising crime levels, commensurate with dismal economic growth, it has become necessary for the KGE Homeowners Association (HOA) to review and re-evaluate security systems and measures in place on the estate.
George and most other towns along the Garden Route are experiencing increased urbanisation and semigration levels, exacerbating social deprivations and a subsequent hike in criminal activities. This milieu, along with two security-related incidents at KGE over the past year, has precipitated the drafting of the HOA’s action plan.
Says Security and Risk Subcommittee chairman Chris Horsley: ‘We endeavour to provide and maintain an adequate, reasonable and acceptable secure environment for all of our residents.’
Heads together for top-rung solutions
The Security and Risk Subcommittee worked in consultation with external and other internal professional parties on a broad security plan for the three years ahead, with details on individual implementation still to be thrashed out by subcommittee members.
Key to the high-level plan is to minimise or, where possible, replace human interface with technology. A common practice in the security industry, this strategy improves efficiency while reducing potential for collusion with criminal elements in a cost-effective manner.
‘By the end of 2025, a further revision may be required to adjust for identified deficiencies,’ explains Chris, adding that four main elements have been prioritised, risk assessed with timelines, and assigned responsibilities.
1. Singular service
Multiple service providers are currently involved with securing KGE, including guarding and response, technology hardware and software, perimeter fence maintenance, and access control equipment.
In future, one service provider will ensure a singular point of contact for all security-related issues, while preventing the risk of ‘blame fixing’ among contractors. Trustees have selected Fidelity/ADT as sole provider of security services and systems to KGE.
Fidelity was originally appointed after a robust tender and adjudication process undertaken in 2020; its current contract expires in September 2023.
2. Know your boundaries
The KGE perimeter boundary is the first line of defence to repel unwanted elements, to timeously detect attempted intrusions into the estate, and to respond to these swiftly.
This plan includes the use of offsite camera monitoring, the possibility of dog patrols, additional technological enhancements, and higher visibility of guards and response vehicles.
‘The basic integrity of the electric fence barrier is a given,’ says Chris.
3. Access NOT for all
The access to the estate by people and vehicles must be effectively controlled with particular emphasis on contractors and visitors. This requires optimum use of both technology and people, necessitating an upgrade of current access-control tech.
Training in the proper use of the software will have to be provided to security personnel at the gates, with contractor access at gates one and two a particular focus of this plan.
The use of car access discs will be discontinued, while homeowners are encouraged to log their visitors via ‘My Estate Life’ – watch this space for further information …
4. Central control
A separate, central point of control for security activities will be established adjacent to the contractor’s entrance at gate one. This will require the construction of a control room to house people and equipment, according to Chris.
He says the main advantage of such a central point is to remove distractions from those guards tasked with monitoring cameras on the estate.
Keeping up with tech
The safety of all homeowners remains a priority, and is high on the agenda of the HOA trustees. They believe security will be improved and enhanced by the execution of focused interventions as outlined above, in a cost-conscious and reasonable manner.
The increased use of updated technology is inevitable, albeit that technological enhancements become outdated almost as soon as they are implemented. It is intended to benchmark the security effectiveness at KGE with other estates on a national and local level at least six-monthly, and to measure performance of the security service provider at least annually.
‘Some of the security improvements in the above plan can be accommodated in the existing financial budget for the remainder of 2022, while the balance will need to be provided for in future budgets,’ he concludes.