Archive for March, 2015

Cargo Security

The corridor between Montreal and Windsor is known for experiencing many cases of cargo theft, ranging for consumer electronics to clothing. The highways see a steady stream of trucks and the area is dotted with distribution centres, making it a region in demand by criminals. It is estimated to be a $5 billion a year problem in Canada. Over the last couple of years, the violence surrounding it has increased as more organized crime gets involved. They see it as a low risk, low penalty and high reward area. The consequences can be serious as the theft results in financial and reputational loss. Since reputations are on the line, there is a high rate of unreported thefts. Several actions are being taken by the trucking, logistic and insurance industries but the problem is persistent. Private security companies can play a role in helping reverse the problem. One of the most obvious steps for a company to take is to have a site risk assessment done. Even if the security situation is being assessed by in house security, a second pair of eyes always seems to lead to increased insight. The findings presented in a report can then be used to improve the security situation to reduce cargo crime. A good assessment includes a physical inspection, review of procedures and interviews with management and front line staff. The findings will then be discussed with management and recommendations will be formulated. A serious follow up will lead to a reduction of theft and potentially lower insurance premiums. In most cases the recommendations consist of physical security enhancements such as access control or CCTV, development or update of the procedures and training of the staff. Making front line staff aware of the risks and educating them on how to act in various circumstances will have a positive effect. Not only will it help reduce theft, it will also boost morale.

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Sharing A Security Vision That Benefits Private Security

I was reading an informative article titled “United States – Canada Beyond the Border – A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness”. This article is a declaration by President Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The intent of this article was for Canada and the United States “to work together in cooperation and partnership to develop, implement, manage and monitor security initiatives, standards and practices”. The foundation of this article brought transferable benefits to the private security sector as well.

One section that caught my attention was, “Key areas of cooperation, addressing threats early”.

Working groups are paramount to generating intelligence for private and public security in sharing relevant, reliable and accurate information that can help deter global organized crime affecting you.

There are many associations that private security firms can leverage and become members ultimately supporting cooperation such as; ASIS, APSA, Canasa, Retail Council of Canada, IACLA, National Retail Federation of Loss Prevention, JSA and the JVC to name a few. The ultimate goal for all these associations is to enhance a shared understanding of the threat environment that can be incorporated into an effective security program for clients in the private security industry.

As a security provider, it can be challenging at times to create programs to support our investment into gathering this intelligence in the market place. A security firm needs to have a vested interest in collecting this intelligence and bring it to their client base. This sharing of information becomes twofold because the client needs to have an interest in allowing their security providers to incorporate this intelligence into a security program that at times ‘procurement’ or the budget will accept. Investing into a deterrence program becomes difficult as there is nothing tangible to support that investment.

We at ASAP continue to focus our effort in supporting our clients with the intelligence required where and when the need arises.

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Watch Out for the Other Guy

Not too long ago my colleague, Stephen Anderson, wrote a great article titled “You’ve Got a Green Light, But I’d Still Look Both Ways”. It was essentially about being aware of your surroundings and planning for the unexpected.

Today I want to talk about something that has been weighing on my mind for quite some time. That is safety while driving on the roads. Why is it when the weather gets nasty some people seem to forget the rules of the road?

Recently in Toronto we had an evening of heavy snow and freezing rain. The next morning many neighbourhoods experienced power outages as a result. The newspapers estimated that over 25,000 Toronto Hydro customers were in the dark. The roads were slippery and there were numerous intersections with traffic lights out. I had to drive a lot that day and at each 4 way intersection I waited for my turn to go through, always being aware of my surroundings and looking out for the ‘other guy’. I was astonished to see that many drivers went through the intersection without a concern for other drivers. It was like being in a smash up demolition derby! Over the course of the many hours I drove that day, I witnessed too many accidents, no doubt as a result of drivers crossing at the wrong time, or being too aggressive.

We need to all remember when the traffic lights are out at an intersection it is to be treated like a 4 way stop. The first vehicle to come to a complete stop at the intersection has the right-of-way. If two vehicles arrive at the same time and they are facing each other, the left-turning vehicle must yield to the oncoming vehicle. If two vehicles arrive at the same time and are perpendicular to each other, the vehicle on the right has the right-of way. And drivers are to cross the intersection one at a time. Not in bunches!

It’s always a good idea when arriving at an intersection to assume the other driver is going to make a mistake. If need be, let confused or aggressive drivers go first. The delay in applying a little patience may only be a few seconds, but those seconds may be life-saving seconds.

Just last weekend I avoided being T-boned at an intersection on a rural road north of my home. I was travelling southbound, and my road did not have a stop sign at the intersection; so I had the right of way. I saw a car to my left coming west on the crossroad and he had a stop sign but didn’t show any sign of slowing down as he approached the intersection. Just as I anticipated, he didn’t stop! Good thing I was aware of my surroundings and slowed down. Not only did that driver not stop at the stop sign, neither did the car following him!

What’s the message here? You need to be aware of your surroundings and assume the worst of the ‘other guy’.


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