Industry News

Security the missing resource for capital equipment

Studies now show this specific industry sector is not only infiltrated by sophisticated organised crime gangs, the damage bill is exceeding $50 million a year for Australia?s mining sector.
David Millward, the managing director of Guardsplus, has warned the mining and quarrying sectors that they face modern day security challenges. That is the primary reason why the company has expanded to meet the needs of the sector.
?Capital equipment has always gone missing from mine sites as they are geographically huge businesses, they utilise extensive fly in, fly out (FIFO) staff and the sheer amount of activity makes it almost impossible to properly protect all the capital assets,? Milward explained.
?But it has become far more difficult in the modern world. Whereas theft used to be almost exclusively traced to relatively isolated in-house ?scams?, the landscape has changed with the appearance of organised crime in the mining industry,? Millward commented.
?This means mining companies need more knowledge-based sophistication to guard their capital equipment. It has shifted from a simple concept of guarding on-site equipment into a dynamic that has parallels with site and venue security requirements in any metropolis.
?What we have formulated for the Australian mining industry draws on principles honed in our traditional markets, with highly trained individuals and sophisticated management of resource protection.
?This is married with a unique tangent required to thoroughly assess and guard any type of mining or quarry operation.?
A recent Construction Industry Theft Summit brought together the industry and representatives of law enforcement from around Australia, customs, as well as the insurance and finance industries. The summit produced research results supporting the belief that equipment theft in the mining and construction industries can be as high as $50 million a year right across the country. 
Of particular note at this summit were comments from Construction and Mining Industry Equipment Group chief executive officer John Reid that organised crime gangs covet heavy equipment because it comprises high value products that can be sold easily. ?It?s simply a matter of transporting the equipment interstate, giving it a new paint job, and it?s very easy to sell,? Reid said.
He pointed out, for instance, how just one stolen excavator will easily bring in the same return on the black market as four or five Holden Commodore consumer vehicles.
Another attractive element for organised crime, Reid added, is that heavy equipment has no consistent national and industry-wide system of easy identification so there is no need for sophisticated re-birthing.
?What we are doing at Guardsplus is formulating customised and targeted on-site frameworks to raise the standard of awareness and control of all capital equipment that belongs to a mine or quarry company,? Millward said.
?These are operating conditions where it is both difficult to maintain such a large inventory over an extensive area of workspace and also to recognise every face among thousands on site, many of which are FIFO personnel.
?A figure of $50 million represents an enormous amount of capital equipment disappearing into the clutches of organised crime and we are using our longstanding experience and record in challenging markets and transplanting that into a business sector that sounds as if it really needs help.? ?
Sources: Guardsplus Australia, CMEIG

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