shortfalls trigger private security boom
Nigel Regan bermuda Sun November 1998.
numbers of people are turning to private security firms as reports continue of
chronic manpower shortages within the police service.
Crockwell, the president of International Security, said 1998/99 has been his
busiest since setting up seven years ago.
said: "People are getting more and more conscious about security,
especially for their own assets and protection." Neighbourhood watch
schemes, he added, have also been increasing with residents joining forces to
alarm their communities.
said: "About 15 per cent of the people who come to us do so because they
are concerned about the police manpower shortage, but it's not the main reason.
1998/99 there were a lot of horror stories [relating to crime on the island] and
I think people want the added protection. People now incorporate added security
into their budgets."
Crockwell said: "I commend the police though because they have made people
more aware of how important security is." He said: "Yes, we have a
manpower shortage in the police but even if it was at full strength would that
solve all of the problems? People are still going to want to protect
Crockwell's company specializes in all areas of the business from providing
store detectives and construction site security to private homes and hotels.
Right now, he said, no one area is outshining the other -- compared to previous
year's, however, business is booming.
Hines, the sales and marketing manager at Bermuda Security Group, also reported
an increase in the number of security systems being sold but said it is more to
do with the perception there is more crime on the island than the direct result
of police manpower shortages.
said: "Nowhere is obsolete anymore, anybody is fair game. It also seems
people are more confrontational." He added whereas people used to get
security to protect their homes while they were away, now 90 per cent of
residential systems are full systems which can be used when people are at home.
people used to leave their doors open, now they close them," he said.
added some customers had expressed concern about police response times but that
they acknowledged this wasn't necessarily due to the manpower shortage. He said
the business has a very good relationship with the police and that the vice
president is a former policeman.
Hines added in the four years he has been with the company there has been an
increase in the number of systems being installed. "Bermuda-wide people are
more aware of crime and they are just taking that extra step to protect their
Chris Wilcox, the officer in charge of the Crime Prevention Unit, confirmed
there had been an increase in calls over the past few months which he said was
the norm in the run up to Christmas.
added the unit exists to assist people in improving home security but that when
it comes to neighbourhood watch schemes Bermudians are not very good at keeping
neighbourhood watch started in 1983 there were about 60 established groups. I
would be surprised if more than a dozen operate now."
said when areas are experiencing crime waves the interest is there but as soon
as it goes away, so do the groups.
shortages, he added, were not the main reason for people getting in touch and
that it was more to do with the perception of crime being greater in people's
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