TS Update-(Residential Security)

With the holiday season upon us there’s no better time for us to review our residential security set up.  Before we go into residential security tips, I thought it would be helpful if we distinguish the two types of threats that we are facing when it comes to protecting our homes from criminals.  We are mainly dealing with Opportunity & Targeted Burglars.

Opportunity Burglars don’t put a lot of time and effort into planning their crimes.  They simply see an opportunity (i.e. a nice bicycle unattended) and take it.  According to the latest Crime Report on Tunisia, “most burglaries are crimes of opportunity, a well-secured home is often enough for the criminals to move on toward softer targets.” Since most burglaries are crimes of opportunity, the equation is simple:  eliminate the opportunity and you’ll greatly reduce the threat.

On the other hand, Targeted Burglars will put in the work to make sure they pick the right target. They will case, study, plan, and team up with others before proceeding with the crime.  Remember, for a crime to take place three things have to come in line: desire, ability and opportunity.  We already discussed the importance of removing the opportunity, but how can we address the other two factors?

The ability factor is well beyond or grasp, but we can do a lot to make sure our homes are not that desirable for criminals.  The main thing to remember is that when it comes to home break-ins, criminals are lazy and will always take the path of least resistance.  Of course we don’t want to turn our homes into fortresses but we do want to make them as secure as possible.  I believe we can find creative and vibrant ways to address our security concerns while at the same time creating joyful environments.  The end result should be that from the outside, criminals see a well-secured and lively home, while inside the people feel protected and free to enjoy themselves.

 

Projecting a Strong Secured Image
Secured on the Outside...Fun on the Inside

Practical Exercise:  Take 5 minutes to look at your home from the outside and see for yourself if you are providing any opportunities for criminals. 

Take Note

Another important point to highlight from the Crime Report is that while burglaries occur with regularity, they do not exclusively focus on the expatriate community.  That being said it should be noted that criminals are aware of the ‘expat travel cycle’.  They know that most expats travel in December and during the summer.  These time periods present the best opportunities for them to strike.  The best advise to keep in mind is that criminals are looking for the easiest and most predictable target; make sure your home does not fit into this category.

4-Residential Security Tips

  • Security check:  Conduct a security/safety check of your house at least 5 days before going on vacation.  Make sure you note and correct any serious security challenges such as broken locks and windows.
  • No clues you’re away:   Think about the day-to-day activities and how your home will look when you’re away for 15 to 20 days.
  • Reach out to your neighbors:  See how you can team up with them as part of your overall neighborhood security.
  • Lighting and landscaping:  Remember that a person is less likely to commit a crime if they think someone will see them do it.

 

Finally, we would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and good luck on all your journeys!  We will continue to monitor the situation so please remember to subscribe to the blog for instant updates and keep the feedback coming!


TS Update-(Bardo and Beyond)

Just 20K away from La Marsa, a very interesting development is unfolding.  Tunisians from all walks of life have gathered in Bardo to express different concerns at their political leaders, as the real hard work of writing a constitution unfolds.  In fact, what’s happening in Bardo is a preview of the challenges ahead. 

Bardo

As I look at the situation unfolding in Bardo, I find it absolutely amazing that the term Bardo in Sanskrit literally means “intermediate state” or in “in-between state”.  The dialogue, or the lack of it, going on right now in Bardo is a microcosm of the larger conversation taking place among Tunisians concerning the role of Islam and its place  in the new system of  governance.  Since Tunisia is seen as a model for the rest of the Arab Spring countries, the results of this dialogue will have larger implications  for the entire region.

Right now, the conversation between the two major camps, loosely labeled the secularist and the Islamist,  is not exactly productive.  Kept apart by barriers and a cautious security force, they recently had to be dispersed by tear gas due to a rock throwing incident on the part of the Islamist.

Occupy Strategy

The Tunisian version of the Occupy Protest should not necessarily be linked to the worldwide Occupy Movement. Instead, from a security perspective, one can view the “Occupy Approach”, as a method of protest being used more and more throughout the world for its effectiveness.  As one Occupy Enthusiast put it:  “Protest, demonstrations, civil disobedience and other such mass displays of disaffection are not merely tactics. They are essential elements of a strategy for social change.”

Big Picture

The situation in Bardo will change as the assembly moves forward with announcements, power deals, and constitutional wording.  It is still unclear if the changes will be for better or worse, but what is clear is that the debate is strong and has no signs of cooling off.

Large gatherings and protests are nothing new in post revolutionary countries.  It is said that during the drafting of the U.S. constitution, people waited outside of the constitutional hall and shouted questions at the founding fathers as they concluded their discussions and proceedings. At the close of the convention, legend has it  that a woman asked Benjamin Franklin what type of government the Constitution was, “A republic“, he stated…“if you can keep it.”