Department of Security Services Brief History 2000 - 2009
The Department of Security Services has become an independent, professional security agent for the University of Pretoria over the past ten years. The mission of the University’s Department of Security Services is “to see more than others see, to see further than others see and to see first before other see”.
Ten years ago Security Services were a small unit insignificantly parked far down the line of accountability in Facilities Management. Since 2002, under the leadership of Mr Colin Fouché, it has grown into an independent department of committed officials who maintain a high level of security service delivery on many fronts in the daily life of the University of Pretoria as an entity and in the life of its staff and students. Mr Fouché received two certificates in acknowledgement of the quality service the Directorate delivers under his leadership. The Student Representative Council awarded him with the Dux Docens on behalf of the student community and he received the Chairperson of the University Council’s award for exceptional achievement.
The Department of Security Services does much more than patrolling and gate access management. It does much more than crime prevention to ensure a safe environment for the staff and students of the University.
The Department of Security Services does case surveillance in the extreme. They are the eyes and the ears of the University and that includes the initial alert to any problems whether mechanical or electrical or the tracing of students for concerned parents whohave not been able to contact them.
The Department of Security Services maintains a key archive and one of the more tedious, yet highly important tasks is the daily unlocking and locking of doors in 530 buildings on seven campuses. It also takes preventive action to safeguard against water leaks and electrical faults that could pose a fire hazard. The high standards maintained in this regard generate a saving for the University in insurance premiums.
The Department of Security Services protects the public accountability of the University. It makes the necessary arrangements and provides security at special events and student activities, as well as during visits of VIP guests to all the campuses of the University. It makes arrangements for traffic control and parking, and also implements security measures at events in terms of alcohol usage and access control. These arrangements are operational for any special event, including Tuks Rag, Spring Day and intervarsity, as well as the University’s annual Welcoming Day and Open Day functions.
It is a 24 hours per day, seven days a week and 365 days a year task that is executed at a high level of competency, accountability, commitment and logistical forward planning.
Since 1999 the Department of Security Services has transformed itself into an independent Department under the leadership of a director. Mr Colin Fouché was appointed as director in 2002 and under his guidance and leadership the Directorate has earned the respect of staff and students alike. Mr Fouché has wide-ranging experience as a police officer and his CV includes commendations by the National Commissioner of Police and the National Minister of Safety and Security for his contribution to the investigation of national high priority crimes.
The Directorate sees itself not only as an entity that analyses crime statistics and evaluates the activities of organised crime in the areas where the University’s campuses are located, it also reaches out to staff and students and gets involved in disciplinary matters, both internally and externally. Security Services support students who have transgressed the law through the whole process of making statements, appearing in court and assisting with giving evidence in court. Every effort is made to place student transgressors into the diversion programme that involves community service rather than receiving a criminal record. In this way the Department of Security Services assumes a nurturing and mentoring role on behalf of the student community
There have been many successes for the Department of Security Services on the road from 1999 to 2009.
- In 2002 Security Services received a reaction vehicle for 24 hours patrols on the Hatfield Campus, residences and sports complexes and for responding to emergency situations.
- In 2003 electronic access gates were activated on the Hatfield Campus on 20 May.
- In November a disaster management centre was opened fitted out with emergency equipment that can be taken to the scene of a disaster in accordance with the Professional Health and Safety Act.
- In 2004 the Department of Security Services engaged with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Department of Correctional Services, the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality and local businesses to promote the social upliftment of the Hatfield Area. Amongst the measures that were put in place as part of the City Improvement District (CID) Programme were additional street lighting, extra parking and closed-circuit monitoring cameras at the women’s residences. The Hatfield Community Court was established on 7 April. The chairperson of the steering committee of the Hatfield Community Court acknowledged the role of the University of Pretoria as the prime instigator for the establishment of the court and for supplying computers and Jutastat, providing legal aid and improved cooperation with SAPS Forensic Library.
- In 2005 four closed circuit television cameras were installed in South Street, the first security cameras to be installed outside buildings.
- On 6 August 2005, the Curlitzia Residence A-block was destroyed by fire. Members of Security Services played a crucial part in assisting the Fire Department as well as in the safe keeping, re-allocation and trauma assistance to the victims, most of who lost everything they owned.
- During 2004 and 2005 Security Services investigated, undertook undercover work and managed to arrest a serial robber who was targeting students in and around campus. The accused was connected to nineteen (19) cases of robbery and theft. On 9 November 2007, the accused was convicted in the Pretoria Magistrates Court on eight (8) counts of aggravated robbery, one (1) count of robbery common and one (1) count of theft and duly sentenced to one hundred and twenty-seven years (127) accumulative direct imprisonment.
- The Green Route was established to improve safety on Hatfield and Prinshof Campuses.
- Between 2006 and 2008 the Department Security Services succeeded in substantially limiting reported crime annually, increasing the arrest rate and reducing the monetary value of stolen property.
- In 2007 the University’s close liaison with the Hatfield Court and the Brooklyn SAPS-station culminated in a drug awareness campaign under the auspices of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. The campaign involved mock trials conducted at schools, on Hatfield Square and in the Hatfield Plaza to improve awareness of the results of drug abuse and criminal offences. Security Services handled security arrangements of the visit by President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China in conjunction with SAPS and the Chinese Embassy. It assumed responsibility for security arrangements of the campus visit of the former British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair.
- In 2008 the Department of Security Services played a significant role in the successful Centenary Festivities of the University of Pretoria. A host of special events and functions were operationalised by the Department of Security Services, as well as the regular functions such as Tuks Rag, Welcoming Day, Spring Day and so forth.
- Other milestones in 2008 included the installation of electronic crime registering software which empowers the Department of Security Services to obtain management information with regard to crime trends, profiling of suspects and link analyses of crimes on the various campuses.
- A substantial capital investment was made by the University of Pretoria for the installation of various CCTV cameras on the various campuses, as well as the latest technology of 13 still cameras and 10 pan, tilt and zoom cameras to monitor high risk areas on the main campus and oversee special events taking place on the main campus.
- The Department of Security Services played an integral part in the development of the Online Parking system which was designed for implementation in January 2009.
The Department of Security Services implements the following monitoring and management measures to ensure safety:
- Access control to the University’s campuses at 59 boom gates, 56 vehicle gates, 101 turnstiles, 304 access-controlled doors, 50 booths and 35 Digicodes. It also has 496 controllers to drive all points of access control and 75 computers (external stations and main servers) and a closed-circuit television system with 36 digital video recorders and 528 cameras.
- An extensive alarm system with 151 external stations that work through telephone lines, two external stations at TuksVillage, 6 700 alarm points (data projector, intruder, video, panic and lift alarms) and 22 fire panels on all campuses (heat/smoke detectors and emergency break-glass units).
The Department has indeed come into its own over the past ten years. It has grown from a small, often ridiculed unit to an independent, forward-thinking asset of the University of Pretoria that has earned the respect it receives from students, staff and the communities in which it operates. It has received many accolades in acknowledgement of the quality service it delivers such as the Partnership Award from the Brooklyn Police Station on 27 January 2009. Both TuksRes and the SRC have acknowledged its outstanding commitment with certificates. The Directorate awards its own members who contribute to its success with monthly and annual recognition of excellent service delivery.
Over the past ten years the Directorate of Security Services underwent a complete metamorphosis and emerged as a professional security directorate that is committed to objective, yet compassionate, service delivery with the best interests of the University of Pretoria in mind..
Mr Colin Fouché admits that maintaining this high level of service delivery is a problem as the intensity and volume of campus activities continues to increase. In 2009 an extensive building project began which would result in great chaos and pose new challenges to the Director and his small but valiant band.
Yet Director Colin Fouché believes that they are up to it. “The most striking change over the past ten years,” he says “has been a change of attitude. For everyone in the Security Services family the service we deliver has become much more than a job, it has become a way of life, a mindset, a way of thinking. That is what puts us in the frontline of protecting and maintaining the University of Pretoria’s corporate image as a world class university.”
The Department of Security Services works interdependently with its contracted private security contractor and in the process ensures that the company delivers value for money. Owing to labour initiatives that generated a saving in the budget, the Directorate has been able to acquire certain facilities that enhance security such as the GBTV that it donated to the University.