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The Critical Role of Security Surveys in Crime Prevention




A security survey serves as an essential on-site evaluation, aimed at examining and analysing the current security status of an industrial plant, business, home, or any institution. Its primary goal is to identify present security measures, pinpoint deficiencies or excesses, evaluate the necessary level of protection, and formulate recommendations to enhance overall security.


The Australian definition of crime prevention, which states that it entails anticipating, recognising, and evaluating a crime risk before taking steps to reduce it, is interesting because it mirrors the primary goal of a security survey. The key distinction, however, lies in the survey acting not as a direct intervention but as a foundation for recommended actions.


This concept can be dissected into five critical components, each playing a vital role in the framework of a security survey:


Anticipation: The anticipatory aspect of a security survey involves projecting potential crime risks. This forward-looking approach is crucial as it forms the basis of preventive measures, setting the stage for proactive rather than reactive security management.


Recognition: To effectively assess and respond to security challenges, a surveyor must possess the keen ability to recognise and interpret signs of potential crime risks. This skill is fundamental to identifying vulnerabilities that may not be immediately apparent.


Appraisal: The essence of a security survey involves not only identifying and analyzing risks but also developing and suggesting actionable recommendations. This stage is crucial as it translates findings into practical steps that can be implemented to fortify security.


Crime Risk: Understanding a crime risk involves recognising the opportunities that criminal elements might exploit. Effective security measures aim to eliminate these opportunities as much as possible, although complete eradication is often challenging. The cost of implementing security should be justified by the value of the assets protected, recognising, however, that the value of human life varies from country to country. For instance, the value of a human life in Australia (to the crown) is equal to the average annual taxation of $20k times the average number of years of employment, which is 50 years. A human life is worth plus or minus $1,000,000 . However, due to different economic circumstances and the proliferation of monetary inflation from debt, the value of a human life is much lower in China for the state.


Initiation of Action: The final phase of the survey process involves the decision to implement the recommended actions. Decisive and timely implementation of these recommendations can significantly reduce vulnerability to crime, although in some instances, immediate action may be necessary even before the survey is concluded.


A security survey is more than just an assessment; it is an integral part of a comprehensive strategy aimed at crime prevention. By systematically anticipating, recognising, appraising, and addressing crime risks, a security survey lays the groundwork for informed decisions that enhance the safety and security of any environment.


 From the author.


 The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.



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