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A parents guide to TIK

TIK! Is the common street name for Crystal Methamphetamine - one of the most crippling drugs available to the youth in our community.


The popularity of TIK as a drug stems from the almost immediate high through smoking this substance, coupled with it’s low cost compared to higher end drugs. A single hit of TIK has a street value of around R 30.


TIK can be manufactured by anyone with a reasonable chemistry background and the components are far too readily available. Consequently, TIK is often manufactured in home based Labs which are set up on kitchen counters or garages - areas that are far from safe or hygienic for the manufacture of any chemical substance. This factor increases the risk when users buy TIK as the chances of a “bad batch” are relatively high. TIK labs are often identified by the presence of excessive numbers of coffee filters, flu tablet boxes
and the strong smell of acidic chemicals.


TIK labs in any community are a high risk because of the volatility of the operation as well as the type of characters it’s likely to attract to the area. Inside TIK labs, a sticky golden brown stain is often seen around the cooking area as a result of the fumes created during the process.

A person who is using TIK will present as being highly anxious, erratic and full of energy just after use and can also appear this way when withdrawal symptoms set in.


TIK is addictive from the first use. With prolonged use of this drug, the user will lose weight at an alarming rate, their skin (particularly facial area) will start to show signs of pock-marks from dehydration as the users organs struggle to cope with the side effects of the drug.


Sadly TIK is sold in most communities as a result of it’s ease of manufacture compared to other drugs, its’ low street price and the size of a single “hit” which is relatively easy to conceal.


TIK is packaged in straws or wrapped in small (tiny) pieces of plastic packets and sealed. It can also be sold as small crystals in plastic packets measuring about 2cm by 1cm. Some TIK addicts will acquire Xylotox tubes - a common local anaesthetic to mix with their TIK. TIK pipes are equally popular as the drug is generally heated in a pipe, lightbulb or similar apparatus and the fumes then inhaled. The battle against drugs is fought by the Police on various levels, however drug dealing is ultimately a business, a business with a captive market that requires no marketing, has upwards of a 300% margin on stock, low rentals because of their area of operations, staff don’t have to be UIF registered or claim benefits when they’re fired...


Apart from the reprehensible product - it’s the ultimate business. As fast as the authorities are able to close one dealer down, the demand from users will create another one and so the cycle continues. The only hope we have of successfully reducing the drug trade and it’s impact on our society is to kill the trade’s client base. Through social crime prevention, we’re able to make the youth more resilient to the temptation of drugs. Using educational tools and speaking openly with the youth about the risks and realities of drugs we at least have a hope of reducing the drug dealers client base.


My experience has taught me that very few teenagers with strong self confidence, a sense of self respect and an interest in sports tend to stray towards drugs. While this is no absolute guarantee it can certainly stand to reason that concentrating on building our childrens self esteem and teaching them emotional coping skills through adolescence will make them less likely to turn to the allure of a quick fix through drugs. Drugs appeal most commonly to our youth as a means of escape from pressures that come with adolescence, pressures that they’re not capable of handling. Many of the teens that I have interviewed who are using TIK admit that they first used it out of curiosity or to get through a tough emotional time.


As adults it is easy for us to reflect on our teenage years and wonder what pressure a teenager could possibly have compared to the adult world of marriage, divorce, bonds, inflation and a myriad of other challenges. In the world of a teenager, their pressures feel just as bad however they don’t have the benefit of much previous life experience to draw on in order to resolve these or work through them. Positive confidence building, talking to our children openly and boosting their confidence in their own ability to achieve is possibly our best weapon against their turning to the likes of TIK. It’s easy to sprout terms like “positive confidence building” and “talking openly” but as a parent it can sometimes be difficult to identify exactly what these activities are. 


Some of the things I’m referring to are really the simple ones - taking time out to spend with kids and show a genuine interest in what’s happening in their lives, discuss things in your teenage years that had an impact on your life and how you handled them. If your child has an interest in sport, encourage it. Nurture it and promote it as much as possible, sport is a great defence for teenagers against peer-pressure. 

It’s an easy comeback to the old “come on, just try a little bit...” When your child can reply “are you crazy? I would, but my sport means too much to me to even try.” A simple thing like this allows a teenager to back down from what could be a huge amount of peer pressure while still saving face. Counseling is available to parents and children with TIK addictions via the local SAPS / CIC at no cost.


Copyright: Craig Pedersen - Consulting Security Project Manager

Drawing Cash

Despite the age of Internet Banking and online everything, there are some things in life that still require good old hard cash.


For this, every business carries Petty Cash. We all have to do it at some time or another. Depending on the size of business, petty cash could be R2 000 or R30 000. The vultures around us would like to relieve us of it no matter what the amount.

Years of looking at the crimescenes after the fact and catching a few bank-followers in the act have lead me to make my personal list of "do's and don'ts" to decrease your chances of becoming a victim.


1. Always vary the day and time that you're depositing or withdrawing cash
2. Always vary the branch that you deal with - sure it's inconvenient but so is being robbed
3. Call the Branch ahead if you have to in order to make the arrangements, but never be firm on what time you're going to be there.
4. Vary who goes and in what vehicle.
5. Vary the route that you take and don't make it a direct one. Try to include at least one traffic circle on your route so that anyone trying to follow you will stand out even more than normal
6. Pay attention not to the car directly behind you, but the car two cars behind you - surveillance 101.
7. For large amounts, use 2 people. Person number 1 enters the branch and draws the cash. Then sits and waits 5-10 minutes, before person number 2 walks into the branch, takes it from them, exits and does the return to office trip - this will disrupt most routine surveillance.
8. Never be complacent - always stay on your guard and trust your gut instinct - if in doubt, drive to the nearest police station and park in their parking area for ten minutes then continue your trip.
9. Try using a small box or something obscure to put the cash in and don't do it in plain view inside the bank.
10. Never encumber your right hand (unless you're a lefty) keep car keys in your right hand ready to stick them in someones eyeball if you have to - or of course just to open the car. Your strong hand should never be encumbered as it's your first natural defensive tool.


I'm sure I could go on a bit, but these are the 10 key points.


When in doubt, all you have to remember, is that complacency costs lives. Stay alert and stay alive


In the security trade, we get to see and learn about a lot of myths, here are a few that are definitively busted and have no shred of evidence to substantiate them:


1. You cannot toss a burning CD Rom under a door or through a window to "knock out" the occupants of a home. It just cannot be done scientifically.

2. There is not a shred of evidence that a gang drives around town with their vehicle headlights off waiting for someone to flash at them and then attack them as a target. Not a shred. 

3. There is NO evidence that a pamphlet handed out at traffic lights can be laced with any material that can put you to sleep or disorientate you enough for someone to hijack your car. 

4. SAPS does not send out any e-mails asking people to forward the information around - they use press releases and the media. 



If you're not sure about an e-mail that you've recieved just forward it to us and we'll gladly establish the authenticiy thereof before sending it onwards. 

We take the spread of crime related information seriously and will only inform our clients of trends and activities within the South African context AFTER we have verified the voracity of all the data involved. We do not advocate the random spreading of information that can cause unwanted panic and fear. 

What to spend on an alarm?

Buying a home alarm is a bit of a minefield. 


Let's think about this realistically. You have within your home a few hundred thousand rands worth of posessions including electronics, clothing and more. Then of course there are the cars in the garage and most importantly - the people inside. 

We often find that when shopping for alarm systems for residential use, people tend to go for the lowest price. This makes no sense at all. Sure, we know that the cost of alarming a home is a grudge purchase, it's not something you want - it's something you NEED.  We also know that times are tough, afterall, we're businessmen and homeowners too. 

So where is the middle line? What's too much and what's too little?


Firstly look at functions. Do you want an alarm that just protects your belongings while you're not there? If so an entry level alarm system with passives and magnetic sensors will probably work just fine. But what if you want an alarm that can be set at night to exclude the rooms you're sleeping and moving in, but still alert you to anyone trying to gain access while you're alseep? If this is the case, you need a controller unit that can do this and it will obviously cost a little more - the benefit however is that it protects more than property - it protects the people sleeping inside the home too. 

Perhaps you have a young family and need to have a remote to switch the alarm on and off so that you don't have to fiddle running to a control pad when you're carrying shopping. At the same time, that remote can be used as a panic button if you're moving around the garage or garden - peace of mind that help is just a press of the button away. 


Upgrading an existing system can often be quite an expensive exercise and that means that putting as much thought into your system as possible will be to your long term benefit along the way. 


Finally, before spending anything on an alarm, you have to verify that the person installing it and advising you is SAIDSA registered. SAIDSA is an industry body controlling alarm systems and installations within South Africa. While there are many cheap imports available (even via retailers) these alarms will seldom live up to inudstry best practices and therefore NOT be acceptable to your household insurers. The last thing you want is to think you're protected by an alarm and insurance and then get the bad news when there's a claim.