The ultimate deterrent

south africa’s leading investigations company

Crime Prevention Units

While security officers and CCTV surveillance may act as a deterrent to criminal activity, it stands to reason that the smarter criminal is not going to ply their trade in full view of uniformed officers. This is where a specialist “Crime Prevention Unit” comes into its own.

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The objective of Crime Prevention teams is to design risk management solutions that integrate traditional areas of expertise while incorporating a strong intelligence gathering component and to have these solutions applied by dedicated and conscientious experts in order to deliver a results-orientated service.

With an operations team that has the experience and skill necessary to understand each client’s unique situation and assess which tools would be best suited to solving the problem, Justicia Investigations is able to offer clients a complete and unbiased range of services to deal with their particular risk profile on a national level.

The CPU concept was conceived by Justicia Investigations in response to industry demand for retail risk management innovation. The first unit was deployed at Gateway Theatre of Shopping in September 2001 and for seven years was Gateway’s best kept security secret. This has been followed with the same success at Menlyn and Maponya Malls, as well as with short term operations at Kollonade, Sandton Square and Lakeside Mall, amongst others.

Year-on-year increases in crime statistics have to be regarded as clear evidence that security risk cannot be dealt with in the same way it has been for so many years – one cannot keep doing the same things over & over again and expect a different result. In order to reach a position where a different approach can be adopted within various environments, it is important to first understand the psyche of a criminal.

One of the primary advantages of the Crime Prevention Unit is that they operate in plain clothes and are therefore not restricted by the same factors that impact on uniformed officers. Additionally, CPU members, rather than being “security guards”, are of a much higher calibre and are adept at managing covert crime prevention and intelligence gathering operations.

A crime prevention operation is a practical, measurable and manageable security intervention that offers clients an innovative, cost effective and highly efficient solution to a growing threat;

  • CPU officers – Physical plain clothes security officers with a primary focus on crime trends and undesirable activities which have a negative impact on an organisation.
  • Optional Undercover Operatives/Informers – an intelligence gathering mechanism to be implemented amongst the various service providers to gather intelligence from within the service providers and persons who have intimate knowledge of the centre and operate over various operational hours.
  • In several instances, additional covert operatives may be required to be deployed in order to assist in the gathering of intelligence or the execution of additional duties as and when required, for operations both on and off site.

In order to achieve full operational efficiency, Justicia would use the defined operational requirements as a starting point and then undertake a process that entails considering the various aspects relevant to the situation that the system was implemented for, including working with all the stakeholders in determining their specific requirements. Issues covered will include:

  • Priorities
  • Response times throughout the system
  • Responsibilities of different parties
  • Audit trails
  • Future needs

These requirements will be communicated effectively to operators before they commence. However, not only is it necessary to communicate what managers see as operational requirements, it is also necessary to get the operator thinking through what they perceive as the requirements for the cameras they are using. Where operators are well tuned to the risk areas, their surveillance will be more efficient.


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