Saab reflects on civil security in SA

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On the release of the 2012/2013 national crime statistics, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa remarked on the ‘enormous’ investment of the government in boosting the police force in terms of personnel, vehicles, police stations and points of service delivery. However, Magnus Lewis-Olsson, CEO of Saab Grintek Defence (SGD) South Africa, cautions that ensuring civil security will also need the deployment of specialised systems – now more than ever.

Says Lewis-Olsson: “The truth is that even with the government’s massive investment, civil security and social order still requires the support of systems and equipment that empower police and rescue services with effective and reliable mission capabilities. It has become clear that specialised solutions to effect civil security is going to become an increasingly important issue in the future.

“Training, as well as the development of solutions that provide a common situational picture that improves awareness and decision-making processes, is cardinal to this process. With appropriate systems and equipment, frontline forces will be well prepared for their tasks.”

With this as background, the 2013 International Association of Women Police (IAWP) Training Conference in South Africa was held last week – an event which marks both a milestone in policing in South Africa and celebrates the contributions that women continue to make towards policing throughout the world.

At this conference, Saab promoted its SAFE system, a flexible, scalable and robust security management system designed to provide enhanced situation awareness capabilities for critical infrastructure protection and emergency response. Based on a powerful Command & Control system and a highly advanced integration platform, SAFE provides the ideal core for managing security and efficiency needs in daily operations.

Explains Lewis-Olsson: “The SAFE Command & Control system gives security centres, administrators and forces in the field a situational awareness and tools to deal with any threat or incident, ie, Saab’s offer includes solutions designed to support Special Police Forces, Police Strategic Command, Rescue Services and Fire Brigades in establishing and maintaining a common understanding of the situation between command centres and mobile units.”

He added that showcasing this system at the first IAWP conference to be held on African soil is fitting, as this system seeks to empower a police force. “It not only fits in with the theme of the conference – ‘Global Empowerment of Women in Policing’ – but as this conference also coincides with the 100-year anniversary of policing in South Africa, Saab will also aim to illustrate that the world as we know it has changed. Civil unrest and crime have the ability to cripple economies and societies at large – we simply have to equip our police force to effectively deal with this new reality,” concludes Lewis-Olsson.