The private security industry in South Africa is among the largest in the world, with over 9 000 registered companies employing more than 450 000 registered active private security guards. Although it may seem a daunting and expensive task, real-time location-based tracking of this enormous workforce can be done at the touch of a button, using the QCIC range of GPS and GSM-based Guardian remote monitoring platforms.
The Guardian series is ideally-suited to numerous guard and patrol activities. QCIC’s Henry Smith, points out that the compact and portable Guardian tracking devices come in two models, namely the entry-level Guardian 600 and the advanced Guardian 700. “The Guardian 600 is a robust handheld GPS tracking device that features a panic button. Once the panic button is pressed, it gives an immediate position of the unit to responders.”
In addition to the features of the Guardian 600, the Guardian 700 also boasts greater functionality, such as incoming and outgoing text messages, four pre-programmed quick-dial emergency numbers, as well as 20 standard phone numbers. “The Guardian 700 is a powerful handheld safety tracking phone that provides the user with a live tracking view, a history report and scheduled reports – using the SkyQ tracking application or the SkyQ mobile application,” notes Smith.
The compact and portable Guardian 700 is the equivalent size of a standard Dictaphone, making it easy to fit to the guard’s equipment or uniform. In addition to the standard call and text message functionality, the Guardian 700 also features a covert calling facility, whereby an authorised outside caller can dial into the unit and listen to what’s happening on the other side without anyone else being aware. Changuion reveals that this is ideal in urgent situations.
“Dialling in to the unit provides a far more precise and detailed description of what is happening, and enables management to make an informed decision related to the safety of the guard in question and the general public that may be affected. The Guardian 700 also features an innovative ‘man-down’ function. If the person or the device falls, it picks up the vibration and an alarm is triggered – immediately informing a pre-authorised contact of the situation,” he explains.
In security and guarding applications, the Guardian 700 is suitable for verifying and tracking the performance of patrol units by monitoring the user’s movements within a geo-fenced area. It also alerts operators when deviant or unspecified movements are executed, and when a dangerous or off-limit zone is entered. It also gives a detailed audit trail of the guard’s logged instructions and movements, adding control to mobile workforce management applications. This information is available to management through a trip replay or trip report via the SkyQ control panel.
“It ultimately ensures that guards located at residential complexes or office parks, for example, are in fact patrolling predefined points or locations at designated times. The Guardian 700 is also ideally-suited to the mobile security workforce, such as armed response officers, who are not only tracked in their vehicles, but are monitored after leaving the vehicle and while arriving at the scene of a call-out, thereby ensuring that their movement and safety is monitored in real-time,” Smith continues.
Furthermore, the Guardian 700 cannot be turned off at will, but only if the customer makes a special request for a particular reason. “It only shuts down when it runs out of battery power. Before this happens, a notification is sent to our call centre and the customer is reminded to charge the battery using either an electrical charger, solar charger or USB connection. By being on around-the-clock, the tracking function on the Guardian 700 is guaranteed at all times,” Smith concludes.