Prepared on behalf of Fidelity by Cathy Findley PR.
South Africa’s violent crime profile with highly sophisticated syndicates has necessitated the formation of specialist task teams which are brought in to manage high profile and violent crime.
Morne du Toit, Specialised Services General Manager for Fidelity Security heads up the organisation’s Specialised Services Division which comprises a team of specialists who work behind the scenes in often dangerous circumstances to ensure that customers and assets are kept safe.
Du Toit says the team employs a number of tactics including covert operations, specialised investigation teams, a dog unit as well as high-risk security solutions which includes air support services and a VIP client protection unit.
“The team focuses on high-value targets and is quite regularly involved with uncovering syndicates, cash in transit heists and other high-risk crimes.” Due to the high profile nature of the crimes, the Division’s Undercover, Investigative and Specialised Deployment Units are regularly involved in joint operations with the South African Police Services and their forensic teams. It takes into account crime statistics and analysis and information gained from informants or other sources to determine where crime may occur. The team is then deployed ahead of time to mitigate any potential risk.
“The big spike in cash-in-transit incidents this year has prompted additional support for vehicles and our teams are often assigned to act as additional support, along with the air response unit, to help track and secure our assets.”
Du Toit says the team has been instrumental in foiling a number of recently attempted cash-in-transit heists and thanks to the wide network of partners and information sources the company has managed to drastically reduce the impact crime has on its customers and their assets. “These high-value crimes not only impact the company but also have a knock-on effect for the government, banking institutions, social grants and ultimately taxpayers,” says du Toit.
“We have also seen an alarming increase in high profile kidnappings and our teams have been integrally involved in working closely with the authorities to break down these syndicates too. On receiving a brief, the highly motivated and flexible Division thoroughly researches the situation, which may include undercover operations, intelligence gathering and co-operation with the police, before strategic overt action is taken by a task team.”
Officers recruited to the Specialised Services Division have unique skill-sets that include:
Intelligence/surveillance training; CCTV analysis; crime trend analysis and prediction; subject profiling; facial comparison; parachuting and diving; high endurance and survival; counter intelligence; firearm and advanced weapon skills; SWAT training as well as education in all aspects of applicable legislation. They then receive further training in a range of other disciplines including hand-to-hand combat; minor tactics; urban training; demolition level 1; musketry (most assault weapons); basic survival; medic Basic Level 6; tunnel warfare; search and rescue; evacuation; fast roping and team leader training.
Du Toit says these elite units work best when there is a collaborative approach from all role players. “Our teams accordingly do not only service our own customers, but also assist other companies and individuals to conduct investigations; assist with undercover operations and VIP protection,” concludes Du Toit.