Security Risk Assesment Methodology

Security Risk Assesment Methodology

To prevent crime efficiently, one can image crime as a triangle.

The triangle consists of 3 sides, namely: Desire, Ability and Opportunity.

By removing just one of these aspects we will be able to prevent crime from occurring.

Over the years, Alwinco has developed an original and unmatched approach towards crime and security. This has allowed us to formulate a unique method for crime prevention that has proven successful. This is also what sets us apart from many other security companies. To be able to comprehend our methodology and the principles of the Security Risk Assessment, it is vital to understand the concept of opportunity. This aspect plays a significant role in terms of crime and successful crime prevention.

The Crime Triangle

When we were in school, most of us learned about the Fire Triangle. We learned that for a fire to burn, three things are required. These are Heat, Fuel and Oxygen. Remove any one of the three and a fire can’t happen.

Crime, like fire, requires three components to occur:

  • Desire
  • Ability
  • Opportunity

All these factors are directly related to the criminal. By removing just one of these aspects, you will be able to effectively prevent a crime from occurring.

An easy way to better understand the crime triangle is to draw similarities to the well-known iceberg philosophy. When only the tip of the iceberg is visible, one often forgets about the much larger mass that lies beneath the icy waters that can cause immeasurable damage. Remember what happened to the Titanic?

The tip of the iceberg is often the smallest part of a much larger and detrimental predicament. Many people believe that if they cannot immediately see something, it doesn’t exist. When the Titanic noticed the iceberg, they did not realise the impact it would have on the ship. The actual tip of the iceberg caused a minute amount of damage to the vessel; yet, the invisible part of the iceberg destroyed a magnificent creation and caused the loss of a multitude of lives.

In today’s life, what we aim to protect can be represented by the Titanic, and the iceberg represents the crime triangle.

Often, the invisible part (Opportunity) of the iceberg is forgotten, only to realise much too late that it was the invisible part that caused the ship to sink in the first place.

The same can be said for the way we think about crime today. We often wrongfully focus on aspects beyond our control, i.e. Desire and Ability, whereas we should be focussing our energy on what we do have control over: Opportunity.

The desire to commit the criminal act can in no way be affected as this was inborn to the individual. The criminal’s mindset and other influences such as past experiences, his upbringing, his belief system, ethics, background, his personal situation and an innumerable amount of additional aspects are all contributing factors over which we have no control.

The criminal’s ability to commit the crime comprises of his physical strength, capabilities and mental capacity. Unfortunately, this cannot be altered very much either. We can only attempt to hinder him by making it more difficult to commit the crime.

For example, walls can be made higher, burglar bars strengthened or more sophisticated security systems could be used. This could also, if done correctly, maybe discourage the criminal enough so that he moves on to somewhere else where it may not be as difficult or challenging. However, it needs to be noted that if he truly has the willpower to commit the crime, he will find a way around these obstacles.

The biggest and all too often overlooked factor is Opportunity. The key to crime prevention is the removal of this most influential aspect.

Opportunities range from observing a predictable schedule; tools on hand, poorly managed security systems, transporting weapons into a facility undetected, the possibilities are endless.

Most criminals are purely opportunistic by nature. However, the lawbreakers that painstakingly plan their attacks must not be overlooked. Consequently, by removing these opportunities, we can eliminate the threat of most crimes.