Blue Security CEO Henk van Bemmelen puts the company’s success down to its core mission on which its business ethics were built, that has led to strong relationships with communities
Providing Next Generation Solutions
Established in 1989, Blue Security is an award-winning, progressive, local business which has grown from providing electronic intruder detection and armed response services, to hyper localised community support and crime prevention programmes. This journey has led to Blue Security becoming the largest independent security company in South Africa, with forward facing strategies that continue to build on its founding core mission of protecting its clients and their property. An ethos of always going the extra mile, of being proactive in the prevention of crime, and of remaining at the sharp end of the sword with cutting edge technology, supports the mission the business is on, of enabling and empowering its clients and the communities it serves towards smarter, safer living.
As a result of its dedication to proactive policing and crime prevention, Blue Security has been repeatedly recognised as a leader in the security sector, independently voted as the undisputed leader in its field in the province for 11 years in a row in the prestigious PMR Awards, clinching the Standard Bank KZN Top Business Award for the services sector in 2019, and ranking second in the Top Brand category. The firm has also repeatedly been voted as one of the security companies doing the most to fight crime in the province in the PMR Awards.
Blue Security CEO Henk van Bemmelen puts the company’s success down to its core mission on which its business ethics were built, that has led to strong relationships with communities who value its transparency, extensive experience, specialist support services, and ongoing investment in resources and technology to fight crime.
“We continue to invest in researching local crime trends, in community security, and in the power of technology, which has positioned us to move beyond simply providing an armed response service to focus on driving a more proactive community policing and partnering strategy. This offers our clients real solutions that minimise preventable crime, such as dedicated community security services, the appointment of dedicated tactical ambassadors and officers who patrol designated areas, and the use of advanced technology such as automated number plate recognition cameras (ANPR),” he said.
Van Bemmelen said the firm focuses on keeping communities informed of crime and its officers on the ground embrace a holistic and personalised approach to fighting crime to keep everyone safe in the community. Blue Security’s Community Command Centre and Control Centre operators work closely with and provide support to neighbourhood watch groups across its areas of operation, as well as with emergency first responders, including SAPS, Metro Police, and dedicated paramedics who are in constant communication with the firm’s tactical ambassadors and officers. Crime intelligence networks and joint operation force multipliers also form a crucial part of the company’s proactive policing team.
“The centralised integration of all services via the Community Command Centre with the police, neighbourhood watch groups and first responders allows for the speedy aggregation, processing, and dissemination of relevant information to our specialist teams and first responder networks in the event of emergencies. Accurate and vetted information significantly closes the gap to apprehension and further supports our crime prevention strategy. Our teamwork with these trusted partners has driven back crime in our neighbourhoods as criminals are removed from our streets,” he said.
To achieve this strong buffer against crime in a neighbourhood, Blue Security employs its Blue Zone strategy which comprises tailored offerings around the geographical footprint of an area, the type of crime affecting the area, and alignment to the residents’ strategic requirements.
Blue Security deploys automated number plate recognition cameras which are linked to the SAPS database into neighbourhoods it protects, allowing criminally linked vehicle movement to be monitored.
Vehicles that have been flagged on the database as stolen or for suspected involvement in criminal activity, can be monitored, verified with SAPS and assessed for further unusual behaviour.
“We have together with the police and neighbourhood watch groups recovered many stolen vehicles through this high tech camera network which is linked to the police database, and we have also been able to monitor the movement of suspicious vehicles to profile possible criminals and prevent crime,” van Bemmelen said.
“The deployment of our highly trained, specialist tactical ambassadors and officers addressed the growing need for community crime prevention strategies, supportive of SAPS initiatives and aligned to community needs. This team works closely with community neighbourhood watch groups to assess crime trends, profile criminals and embark on special operations with the police to crack down on the criminal activity,” he said.
Van Bemmelen said the company was continually investing in resources such as vehicles and armed response officers – the firm has the largest fleet of armed response vehicles in Durban – and in new technologies. These technologies include cutting-edge CCTV cameras which enable homeowners to monitor what is happening in their homes at any time and when an alarm is activated. Cameras may also be linked to the control centre to ensure ongoing video monitoring if requested.
The Blue Security Mobile App allows direct access to a client’s home or business security system. The app receives instant notifications of any activity on the alarm system and pinpoints the user’s precise location the moment the panic button is activated in any emergency. Blue Security’s control centre receives the signal and connects with the user before sending the appropriate emergency response, from armed response officers, to ambulance services, the SAPS, and roadside assistance services.
“We are also actively involved on a variety of channels including social media and WhatsApp groups to keep communication with clients, neighbourhood watches and communities current,” Van Bemmelen said.
Blue Security is closely working with partnered communities and installing cutting edge CCTV and access control technology that will provide real time relevant data and alerts via the utilising of artificial intelligence and data analytics. These “Virtual Estates” provide next generation solutions to residents living in non-gated estates.
“We are committed to remaining ahead of the security game and to being a step ahead of criminals, which means continuing to grow our strong partnerships with the police and neighbourhood watch teams and to harnessing technology to serve and protect our communities to the best of our ability,” he said.
Full Name of Company: Blue Light Monitoring and Armed Response
Category: Business Services
Services: Alarm monitoring, armed response, security products installation and repairs
Date Established: 1989
No. of Employees: 600 approx.
Auditors / Accountants: Mazars
Bankers: Standard Bank
Advertising / PRO Agency: In house marketing team, retainer journalist, and Digitlab (digital marketing agency)
CEO: Henk van Bemmelen
Operations Director: Brian Jackson
Sales & Marketing Director: Darren Lategan
Financial Director: Warren Kidgell
Technical Director: Clive Samuels
Human Resources Manager: Yvonne Mudly
Physical Address: 48 Kings Road, Pinetown, 3610
Tel: +27 (0)31 717 5000 Fax: +27 (0)31 717 5135