Village Talk - October 2015

Festive Season
Why am I starting on this already…? It is only October. Well, based on past experience MANY people leave their security requests for installations, upgrades and services right up to the last minute before they go away. We are always willing to help, but last year KSS still had technicians running around doing last minute jobs on Christmas Eve. Please plan ahead and get hold of our sales team early this year. You can email Keshen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for assistance.

Advice
ALWAYS set your alarm system – even if you are just popping out for 5 minutes.

School kids – please be careful
A 16 year old Howick High School boy was involved in an attempted mugging. Please speak to your children if they walk home. Advise them to walk in groups and always be alert to what is going on around them. Give them our KSS Control Centre number 033 3305911 to put into their cell phones on a speed dial so they can call for immediate help if they need it.

Arrest of criminals
NPS vehicle Good news – the NPS vehicle was stopped the occupants arrested. It appears that they are linked to a number of crimes. Herewith is the information sent to me by SAPS:

“Hi. We arrested three suspects from Kwa Mashu area with a white Ford Bantam. They broke in at Fraser Street. Our Office is investigating the case and I know u have on numerous occasions circulated a white Ford Bantam with NPS plates. These guys came up from Durban with ND plates and changed it to NPS when they were in Howick, Hilton or Town Hill area. If there were any victims in your area who were robbed by these guys and saw them, we would like to possibly link them to that case by ID Parade. We believe they were responsible for a lot off break-ins in your area. It would be great if people can come forward that saw this individuals on their premises and could maybe ID the suspects”.

Please contact Frans from the KSS investigations unit if you have any information that could help KSS and SAPS with this case. Frans can be contacted on 0836120603 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Medical Emergencies
KSS continues to build strong working relationships with the local Emergency Medical Ambulance service providers. ER24 continues to provide a professional service to our community and this, coupled with the fact that they have Advanced Life Support (ALS) back-up, is a real positive. ER24 also provide ALS back-up to the smaller, local service providers. Howick and Midlands now also have the service of the newly launched Midlands EMS Ambulance, which is owned by Mark Winterboer. Our community is now safely in the hands of numerous service providers and KSS are able to facilitate a response to any medical emergency for you from any number of service providers. You can however contact the following service providers directly:
ER24 – Midlands Operations on 0796206661 or Midlands EMS on 0741497911.

Security and safety tips to consider when away from home:
1. Beware of remote jamming. Always check that you have locked the car with your remote by actually double checking – try the door handle and ensure that it does not open.
2. Keep your keys handy when returning to your car – you don’t want to be fumbling in your handbag looking for them and then not be alert to your surroundings.
3. Keep your handbags and wallets close to your body.
4. When driving, keep your handbags, wallets and other valuables out of sight, preferably locked in the boot of your car.
5. ATM withdrawals – stand close to the machine and keep your pin protected. DON’T let anyone disturb you. If you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction and retrieve your card. Report the incident to bank officials immediately.
6. Don’t draw attention to yourself if you have a lot of cash on you.
7. Carry pepper spray - this is useful when warding off an assailant. KSS have pepper spray for sale at their offices.
8. Carry a whistle – if this is on your key ring it is useful and easy to access if you have your keys in your hand.
9. Try to go out with a “buddy” or let someone else know you are going out and when you are likely to return home.

Meet some more of the KSS Team
Elaine O’Farrell – Financial assistant. Elaine has been with Knight for over 10 years and is a real asset to our operation.
Louise Nel – Human Resources. Louise is incredibly diligent and dedicated. We could not ask for a better HR person to assist with managing our staffing.
Yolande (Joe) Dreyer – Debt Collecting. Joe carries out her function at KSS with focus and determination. It is not a nice job to perform but she is commended on her efforts.
Monique van Deventer – Reception and Personal Assistant. Monique performs critical functions in the business like, stats collection, weekly calls to guarding clients and a number of other necessary functions (like baking cakes for birthdays). Monique is organised and diligent with her responsibilities.
Lungi Nzimande – Human Resources assistant. Lungi’s knowledge of the security industry is vast and she is a key role player in assisting management and HR with staffing.
Zanele Mvelase – Receptionist. Zanele has been promoted from our Office Assistant and Cleaning lady to our new receptionist. This is a lovely opportunity for her to continue growing in our organisation.
Jaco Ronquest – Site Supervisor. Jaco is the kindest, most helpful person you could ever meet. He takes his job function seriously and is a real asset to KSS.
Brad Wardell – Dog Unit Supervisor. Brad’s passion for dogs and knowledge of working with dogs has afforded KSS to opportunity to establish and now manage a fully functional K9 unit. What a difference this has made to the safety and security of the sites we guard that have our dogs on-site.

Drakonteur Newspaper - September 2015

Knight Security Solutions (KSS) started trading as Knight Alarms (1990) and Knight Force (1998) before it became Knight Security Solutions in January 2014, when Gary Preston purchased Knight Alarms. Gary had started with Knight Alarms in 1990 as an alarm and radio installation technician and now, 26 years later, Gary and his wife Debbie are working together to make the Midlands a safer place.

KSS currently employs over 210 people from our local community and offers 24 hour Alarm Monitoring from their Control Centre, 24 hour Armed Response, 24 hour Guarding at estates, business and industrial premises and a Technical Department that do new alarm installations, CCTV, repairs and upgrades to all makes of systems.

KSS also now has a growing K9 unit, consisting of a trained tracking dog and trained patrol / attack dogs (Rottweilers and Boerboels). The tracking dog assists KSS with follow-up investigations after break-ins have occurred, while the patrol dogs have proven to be an asset when securing a site.

The Community Bobbies Patrol Project in the Greendale Park and Eridene areas of Howick North has been running successfully with an Armed Response Officer patrolling the area in a vehicle.

KSS believes in team work and is actively involved in the newly launched Combined Security Reaction Team (CSRT) in Howick. KSS along with the SAPS, SA CAN and other local security companies are focusing their collective efforts on combating crime together and an effective communication system has been set up to facilitate this process.

KSS prides itself in developing relationships with other credible and professional organisations or service providers. KSS has been working side by side with Together SA CAN for two years now. SA CAN is an organisation that specializes in managing emergency situations and ensuring that their members receive the appropriate emergency response. SA CAN is able to assist you anywhere from “at home”, to on holiday or work in South Africa and the surrounding Southern African countries.

SA CAN is officially linked to 96 organisations, including animal welfare, wildlife, medical & advanced life support, crime and medical flight operations, fire, police, private security, missing persons, land, sea and high-angle search and rescue operations, crisis centres, legal advice, business, farm and neighbourhood watches, Recoveri Microdot, vehicle tracking and tracing, VCAT PBO (Violent Crimes and Technology support) to name the main categories, all at the press of a button on your cell phone. To join SA CAN contact them on 086 1623 646 or go to their website www.sacan.org

SA CAN also provide a back-up service to all domestic workers. The following cell number can be given to your domestic workers: 083 799 1916. They can send a free "Please Call Me" to the Duty Manager, who will then contact them and assist. SA CAN is available 24/7 to assist.

KSS are also working side by side with ER24 Medical Emergency Ambulance Services. ER24 Midlands ambulance crew and Advanced Life Support (ALS) are based at the KSS premises. The KSS Control Centre is able to dispatch ER24, as well as other medical emergency service providers, to attend to medical cases in the Midlands. You can contact the ER24 Midlands Operations on 079 620 6661 directly.

Recently, Mark Winterboer joined the Knight Team. Mark was previously the Director of Berg Protection in Howick and has been a key figure in the Midlands over these recent years. Mark is known for his passion in the fields of security and particularly emergency medical response. This is a positive move for our community in that two key role players in security, namely Gary Preston (Owner of KSS) and Mark (formerly from Berg Protection Services), are working together in the best interests of the community. The focus in the months to come will be in ensuring even better service delivery to all our clients in Howick and the surrounding areas.

The security industry is governed by PSIRA (Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority) who set the standards and protocols for all security companies to adhere to. Last week PSIRA conducted an on-site inspection of the KSS operation. The gentleman from PSIRA who conducted the inspection said that in his 8 years of working for PSIRA he has never scored a security company 100% on an inspection...Well... last week was his first. KSS scored 100% compliance. This is an amazing achievement and attributed to all our amazing staff that work tirelessly to keep our community safe.

Security Advice

Security Advice
Think of security as having layers of concentric circles:
• Alarm in the house
• CCTV in and around the house (can be linked to your smart phone)
• Dogs
• Beams in the garden
• Perimeter fence or wall

YOUR HOME
• Shrubs and trees should be cleared away from the house, to avoid people hiding behind them.
• The house needs to have good quality burglar bars and good quality security gates.
• The house should have an alarm with panic buttons (fixed or remote) which are connected to a 24 hour monitoring security Control Centre.
• CCTV cameras could be placed at all entrances and can record any suspicious person on your property.
• A farmer must have a two-way radio system.
• Good quality pepper spray is very effective
• A very good quality bright torch.
• Dogs are valuable to have and alert you. A small dog is a good idea indoors and larger dogs outside.
• A safe room in the house where people could lock themselves inside. Some form of communication in this room would be beneficial.
• Close all curtains at sundown, so that nobody can see inside the house.
• Be VERY suspicious of unknown people who are asking for work OR want to buy/sell goods.
• Make sure you have the details of your domestic staff (Name, ID, contact number and address).
• Brief your domestic staff on security measures for their own safety as well.
• Brief your children (of ANY age) about safety and security. They need to know how to be proactive in a threatening situation.

ENTRANCE TO YOUR PROPERTY AND YOUR HOUSE
• Your property should be fenced with palisade or a concrete wall. Spikes or electric fencing could be on top of wall or fence.
• Bushes, shrubs, trees or anything which a person could hide behind, should be removed or trimmed.
• Lighting of dark areas is recommended.
• Ensure your gates are padlocked as automated gates are easily picked up off the rails and moved.
• On farms it is suggested that you have a monitored outer perimeter electric fence with an alarm and an inner perimeter electric fence with an alarm. The fence must be maintained.
• An automated gate is important so you don’t have to get out of your vehicle to open the gates.
• Keep a distance when stopping at your automated gate in case you have to leave in a hurry should something or somebody surprise you
• On a farm the road leading up to your property should be clear, with no bushes, trees and dongas so that no person can hide and you have a clear line of sight.
• Motion detecting beams could be used to surround the house which gives off a soft audible warning when the beam is broken.
• CCTV cameras allow you to monitor movement from the convenience of your smart phone.

Security measures are costly, but what are your family and your life worth?

ALWAYS HAVE THE TACTICAL ADVANTAGE
Do things that place you in a good position to avoid being attacked. When criminals attack they will always put themselves in a tactical advantage. They will know the area, how many cars are in the yard, how many dogs there are etc… They will know a lot about you!

GOLDEN RULE: KEEP YOUR DISTANCE AND ALWAYS HAVE AN ESCAPE ROUTE!

Regard everything that is out of place with suspicion.
(Supplied by Mr G. Larsen. Edited by D Preston)

Village Talk - 5 August 2015

House numbers
The Knight Security Solutions (KSS) Operations staff have reported to me that there are still MANY houses in the Howick, Howick West, Merrivale and Hilton areas that are still NOT NUMBERED. Please note that it makes responding to your premises by any emergency services significantly easier if your house is numbered clearly and is visible from the road. There has also been some recent theft of brass numbers from people’s properties.

Imposter
Residents in Merrivale and Howick have been approached by an Indian male claiming to work for the Umngeni Municipality or the Department of Water Affairs. This man claims that the resident’s accounts are in arrears and they need to pay him in cash. Please alert KSS or SAPS immediately if you have this situation.

School children accosted
On Friday 31 July three Howick High school students were approached by two black males and asked them to help carry boxes into HADCA opposite the High School. They boys at first said no but were then promised a R100 for their help. The boys were then asked if they had valuables, and if they did, what they were. The boys told the men they had cell phones. The two men told the boys they had to put stickers on to show security that the phones were not stolen from inside HADCA. A third black man joined them and he handed his phone over first. The phone was then returned very quickly to this third man with a sticker on. When the school boys handed their phones over the men started running away and jumped into a car that was parked around the corner. This took place between 4 and 5 pm.

Break-in
Another serious break-in occurred in Merrivale Heights over the past month. The same MO was used as in a previous housebreaking in Howick. The gate was derailed and then the suspects were in and out of the house within a couple of minutes, after forcing the front door and gate open. Numerous items were stolen. There are two options to trigger an alarm if your gate is tampered with. Both, however need to be activated remotely. Please contact the KSS offices for more information on 033 3305911 and ask to speak to Keshen or Sashen. Their direct numbers are: Keshen on 083 3935 265 or Sashen on 082 8700 138.

Suspicious vehicles.
• Teal/Green Corsa Reg No. FSG 102 EC – spotted in the Howick area
• Silver Uno – spotted in Howick High and Miller Street area (no other details)
• Old white Toyota Tazz (with tinted windows) Reg NH 19093 outside Howick High School.

Vehicle thefts and attempts
• Symmonds Lane (Howick) - Attempt theft of a vehicle from a complex.
• Main Street (Howick) – Burgundy BMW 535i NR 11450 stolen from the Howick Golf Club.
• Ridge Road (Howick) – Attempt theft of a motor. One suspect apprehended and handed over to the SAPS by KSS officer.
• Mare Street (Howick) – White Mazda 323 NR 19467 stolen.
• Wear Avenue (Howick) – Motorbike stolen off a vehicle during the course of the night.
• Riley Crescent (Howick) – Silver Toyota Corolla NR 11307 stolen.
• Harvard Street (Howick) – Green Mazda Midge 1.3 NR 2550 stolen.

Installation of CCTV
Close-circuit television (CCTV) can be a significant deterrent for burglars. Having CCTV cameras recording all movement around your property 24/7/365 with the images displayed on either a monitor or TV - these images can also be streamed to smart phones and tablets - burglars can be deterred for fear of identification. It is also a good idea to have a camera installed at the front gate so that any visitors can be clearly viewed from the safety of the home. For advice please call Keshen on 083 3935 265 or Sashen on 082 8700 138.

KSS Officer foils remote jammers
KSS Armed Response Officer “Gunman” foiled two men who had “remote jammed” a car in Main Street on 21 July 2015. The suspects stole a laptop and cell phone from the vehicle, and were totally unaware that they were being observed. When the criminals returned to their vehicle they came “face-to-face” with Gunman who called for backup immediately. The men were arrested as they were found in possession of stolen items. Thanks to RTI, KSS back-up response and the Howick SAPS. The vehicle used by the criminals to commit the crime was a hired Hyundai with Reg no. ND 761808.

SA CAN at the KSS offices
Alicia and Teresa from SA CAN will be at the Knight Security Solutions office next month to assist with admin queries, app support and registration of new members.

Dates: 12 and 13 August 2015 from 07h30 – 17h00

The ladies will be unable to make house-calls, so anyone needing assistance must go to KSS at 2 Greenfields Place, Merrivale. For further information, please call 08 616 23646 during office hours.
Loadshedding
Eskom loadshedding has become a reality and affects all South Africans. Subscribers of Alarm Monitoring and Armed Response services are starting to encounter unavoidable issues related to loadshedding. Please note that these issues are industry related and ALL security service providers are affected.

The electronic security industry is faced with one of the worst challenges in its history. Eskom cannot guarantee that the electricity demand will be met in the foreseeable future. The sheer volume of alarm calls that arise during and after load shedding, is in some instances resulting in customer disappointment. Our KSS control centre works tirelessly during loadshedding as alarm activations increase by up to 1000%. Our Armed Response and back-up do their utmost to respond and check on each alarm activation timeously.

Please be patient as client safety and security is paramount. PLEASE DO NOT test your alarm system during loadshedding – this will result in KSS having to follow-up with your “false alarm” and may lead to a response time delay to an ACTUAL EMERGENCY.

Changing back-up batteries frequently cannot be over-emphasised. The battery of an alarm is the lifeblood of any security system that doesn’t have an alternative source of power when the electricity goes off.

Alarm users must take heed of this advice to ensure their own safety and security. It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your alarm battery back-up is working. For advice please call Keshen on 083 3935 265 or Sashen on 082 8700 138.

Commercial / Business clients
There has been a recent spate of serious commercial crime and the organised gangs are now gaining access to premises through the roof. With this type of access, they are then not detected (unless there is a passive infrared beam PIR in the roof) and they are able to access the alarm control box (if it is located near the ceiling) and disable the system.
We need your co-operation in assisting us deal with this situation. Herewith is what we suggest:
1. Inform us if your control panel (a box with wires from the ceiling coming into it) is located near the ceiling. We need to move this box to a safer location.
OR
2. Install a PIR in the ceiling above the control box which will detect the criminal in the roof before he/she is able to cut the wires to deactivate the alarm.

There will be labour and equipment costs incurred to make these changes, but your safety and business sustainability is vitally important to us.
Tips for a reliable alarm system
Valuable information to ensure the effective working of your alarm system:
• Your alarm should be tested at least once a month. Please remember to do this between the hours of 9am and 3pm or after 7pm. Please notify our monitoring Control Centre beforehand, so they can set your alarm to ‘test mode’. If you discover your alarm is faulty, it is important that you then schedule a technical visit to check your alarm.

• Due to frequent power failures (load shedding) the alarm system batteries deteriorate quicker and therefore have a shorter life-span and capacity. Under load shedding circumstances, battery life is reduced considerably.

• The alarm system’s running time on the battery should be checked. This check is done by switching off the mains supply to the alarm system and determining how long the battery is able to keep the alarm active. If the system “dies” within 2 hours then the battery needs to be replaced. Please ensure that when you do this test, that you are home and able to monitor the batteries progress. Do not leave the house unarmed.

• Usually an alarm battery in good working condition can last up to eight hours without mains power. Factors that can affect battery life include the age of the battery, how many devices are linked to the panel, and the number of power failures or power spikes you have had in your area.

• With wireless equipment, the batteries should be checked every 12 months (by a technician) to ensure that they are still working effectively and are not damaged in anyway. Please do not open the wireless device yourself.

• If you have any outdoor alarm equipment, it needs to be checked and tested. Please ensure that there is no foliage growing in front of the detectors. This will result in “false alarms” and compromise the perimeter security of your property.

• Please ensure that there are no rats in the roof of your house or near any cables. Rats chew through cables which can render your system faulty.

• Have your entire security system serviced at least annually to ensure everything is in good working order. During a routine annual service call, the battery will be load-tested.

Emergency

Our 24/7 control room number is 033-330-5911

Office Hours

Mon - Fri: 7.30am to 4.30pm

Contact us

Our Office

2 Greenfields Place

Merrivale
Kwazulu-Natal
3291

Interested or Questions?

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