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  • Writer's pictureOmar Pathare


Updated: Jun 27, 2021

We all plan elaborately when it comes to health, wealth, and overall happiness of our loved ones. But, why do we take an extremely important aspect like ‘SECURITY’ so lightly and not include it in our list of goals? Why are we content to leave the onus of security on electronic surveillance appliances or lawmakers, instead of trying to develop a PROACTIVE SECURITY STRATEGY that secures us from a crime happening in the first place?

We all have set certain goals for ourselves and our family. These may be divided into yearly goals, half yearly goals, monthly goals and at times even weekly goals. Goals are important for our motivation, self- progression and maintaining the overall happiness quotient of our lives. As these are dynamic benchmarks, we put on ourselves to achieve a certain standard of living, we forget that we need to also consolidate whatever assets we create or procure to make our life comfortable. Safety is still considered because it involves harm to one’s body may be from illnesses or accidents, but security is kept out of the planning parameters as it never occurs to us that we also may be affected by a crime.

Security is seen as a domain of the police and at best the security guard you have at your main gate. Apart from that the home security gadgets provided by your builder like door phones, CCTV cameras is seen as adequate measures to fight crime.

Unfortunately, it is not so, these are only devices given to aid you in your own thinking and working process to secure the safety of your family. Video phones become a novelty initially and then are used as a doorbell because whenever it beeps many people just rush to the door without even checking who is at the door through the display provided in the panel. Gadgets look cool, they are helpful only if you have a sound strategy for keeping your family and assets secure.

You as an individual living in society have been given certain duties and social responsibilities towards your family, which also includes ensuring that they don’t become victims of any crime. Keeping yourself socially aware about what crimes are happening in your city or places which you visit for work, shopping or leisure gives you an idea about how the place has progressed or degraded in terms of security of people. Picnic spots you enjoyed as a child might have become havens for eve-teasers, drunkards and voyeuristic couples at the present day. If you still go to such places with pre-conceived notions from the past, you may be putting your family in considerably danger when you are faced by such anti-social elements there. Therefore, do ponder on these points:

- Know your family: As you mature in age and in your relationships, you become aware of certain behavioural traits of your wife, children, parents and in-laws. You generally know beforehand that which person in your family will give what response when faced with a particular scary situation. Instead of making it humorous at family gatherings and weaving it in to discipline your child, for e.g. “Mummy is always afraid of the dark”, “My wife is absent-minded”, “My children come home from the park when I tell them ghosts will come and catch you when night falls”, do have a serious talk about the pros and cons of such situations with your family. Realistic discussions of these sorts help the family work out their own strategies to keep themselves secure in normal everyday situations. Once the weaknesses are identified through dialogue, empowering them with methods and gadgets can help many family members overcome situations which may be potentially dangerous for their security.

Work over everyday routines and issues which may give opportunities to criminals to exploit your family members. At times walking through the whole process alongside a particular family member gives them a fair idea of how a threat can manifest and how can he counter it by using his presence of mind.

- Involve your neighbours: People living around you also have more or less similar security concerns when it comes to the safety of their near and dear ones. Have open dialogues with the neighbours you are comfortable with. Try to seek common ground on issues which affect their family also and then together shoulder responsibility to make that common concern be solved proactively so that chances of crime lessen in your neighbourhood. Don’t blame anyone for any lapses in the security management of your buildings or societies, instead work out mutually agreeable solutions which deter criminals and keep your neighbourhood secure.

- Strategy for outsiders: Outsiders mean all persons providing you services, be it a milkman to a courier boy or a municipal officer to a door to door salesman. Many neighbourhoods are seen to be stand-offish or plain rude when dealing with such outsiders, which even though being a ‘negative approach’ towards outsiders helps the people in that particular part in identifying who is there for a genuine purpose and who is a nuisance. Putting up signs creates deterrence but having a questioning attitude towards outsiders helps in creating a human face to those signs.

- Strategy for your transit: You may have fellow travellers taking the same bus, train or pooling a car everyday with whom you share a good rapport. These co-travellers are temporary in nature and will never be your confidants. Don’t share your insecurities, your personal or professional problems or try to get monetary or emotional help from them even if you are seeking support for an ongoing crisis in your life. In the surge of unburdening yourself to someone you end up giving small but vital details of your personal life which can be exploited by these so-called ‘travel friends’.

- Strategy for your workplace: You share quite a lot of time with your office colleagues and therefore a certain heightened level of familiarity is achieved when you accomplish common goals together. Professional events apart, when subjects go onto the personal level due to the comfort level achieved between the team, there are chances that to show your self-worth and status in the society, one may brag or speak out more than required which may be used to identify your family’s routine as well as psychological makeup and exploited by others, not only to subvert you in your work but to get financial, emotional or physical gratification from the members of your family. When you speak of your family, talk about a strong, independent personalities bonded by common values and goals with immense respect for each family member. This brings out a strong image in front of trouble-makers and criminals that this family cannot be subverted or divided for their personal gains.

Strategies for your security does not merely entail putting up high-tech devices to overlook premises and possessions. It consists devising a strategy which is beneficial for all members of your family and getting them to collectively understand and implement it. It involves weaving in methods which ensure that everyday routines are not hindered by sudden disruptions by outsiders as well as denying intrusions into the vulnerabilities of each family member. When this process is proactively carried out with all family members onboard, you will find many emerging facets of each one’s lives which might be a potential ground for criminals to exploit and thereby can devise methods and means to secure those areas from falling prey to a crime.

- Lt Col. Omar Pathare (retd.), Founder – Fortify Security Consulting

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