Recovering 260 m x 35 mm x 4 core copper cable is a remarkable achievement and this is what the Special Operations Team recovered over Easter Weekend 2013 in the Steelpoort Area. Excellent intelligence and investigative work.
The Steelpoort based Thorburn Special Operations team provide flexibility, support and independence to the Thorburn guarding operations and continue to prove their success in the mining security industry. Adding intelligence and investigative capabilities to the team has allowed it to grow in stature the past 18 months. Major success has been achieved in the Steelpoort area this year and it seems that we are achieving the right mix of team members and skills.
The roles of the Thorburn Special Operations Team can be summarised as: crime prevention, road safety and general safety enforcement adding “visible policing”. They provide us with flexibility: they could deploy in assistance to traditional guarding, act as an intervention force in difficult situations or just general support. They are not a crowd facilitation force, but are trained as such and have the backing of a small team of trained members from Steelpoort for emergency support.
Investigative services within the Thorburn Special Operations Unit earlier this year resulted in the 100% recovery of stolen computers and other electronic equipment stolen from a mine near Steelpoort. One specific mine supported by the Thorburn Special Operations unit enjoyed a marked increase in safety related positive alcohol tests (23 cases in 6 months); the identification of vehicles with expired mine entry disks; recovery of stolen copper cable from a waste truck; identification and recovery of items unlawfully in possession of employees and contractors; and identification and recovery of stolen cable from various mines.
With a recent volatile situation and potential increased crime risk in Palabora due to labour unrest, the team deployed to Palabora in assistance to Thorburn operations. Within their first week in the area they spotted a suspicious bakkie, observed it and eventually, due to unforeseen “warning”, the occupants of the bakkie fled resulting in the Thorburn Special Operations Team recovering the bakkie and 1 060kg of stolen copper (handed to Palabora SAP).
“Since we introduced this team as support to guarding operations, our success on mining crime prevention and safety contraventions increased drastically. The cost to maintain this team is huge and if it did not work for us and our clients I would have been the first to have closed down the unit – but it adds tremendous value”, Thorburn Managing Director, Dolf Scheepers, commented.
What are special operations in Thorburn Security Solutions?
Special operations (Spec Ops) are typically performed independently or in conjunction with conventional security guarding operations. The primary goal is to achieve a crime prevention or safety (including road safety) objective where a traditional security guarding force requirement does not exist, fall short in manpower numbers or might affect the overall operational outcome. Special operations are usually conducted in a low-profile manner that typically aims to achieve the advantage of speed, surprise, and violence of action against an unsuspecting target. Special ops are typically carried out with limited numbers of highly trained personnel that are able to operate in all environments, utilize self-reliance, are able to easily adapt and overcome obstacles, and use unconventional security and safety skills and equipment to complete objectives.
Remark: this description is based on and integrated to the definition of Special Operations as a described in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_operations.
Evidence of Thorburn Special Operations team success – tools used by cable thieves.