Changed Nature of Civil Unrest
The entire world is changed in very drastic ways due to the use of technology. The internet is the main reason why civil unrest is shaping up into a completely different phenomenon. One that is easily enticed to occur thanks to the overwhelming popularity of social media.
What is civil unrest?
There are many ways to define what civil unrest means, but according to most definitions, it is any act that involves three or more people that cause any type of public disturbance or damage to property.
With that said, there way that civil unrest manifests is very different from what it was a decade ago. Now that we connect through the internet, it is much easier to instigate and to encourage civil unrest. This happens in many platforms without any repercussions for those who publish this sort of content.
Civil unrest and social media
When something happens that is in any way perceived as unjust, this is a very powerful place to start if you seek to create civil unrest. Some people have become experts in this process and they will add plenty of fuel to any fire to create a response.
The use of social media for the purpose of sharing opinions is very important. There is no denying that this is an essential part of our lives now, but it can also be a very dangerous tool. People are using the internet in very irresponsible ways and on top of that, there are many issues related to outside agitators who get involved in civil unrest events for their personal gain.
It is important to understand that one of the main reasons why civil unrest is so dangerous is due to how easily it can happen. The way that the world works today makes it this process very simple. Moreover, it gives people the chance to instigate without any effort by simply posting text on a social media platform.
Social media is responsible for the creation of many protests that have led to violence. With that said, sometimes the violence is caused by people who are not interested in the protest. In many cases, it is opportunistic individuals who want to create chaos or wish to gain something out of a violent encounter.
Training security to handle civil unrest
We are living in an era that requires a very specific way to approach security during civil unrest. A peaceful protest should never lead to violence when the protestors do not indicate any attempts to behave violently.
Security for civil unrest needs to be able to respond to the possibility of a violent outburst. The issue is that this is a very dangerous process to handle carefully. When a protestor suffers from harm by security, the repercussions can be extremely negative for the company that provided the staff.
The risk of looting and arson
One of the biggest problems that involve civil unrest is the potential for property damage. The herd mentality that affects protestors can be extremely dangerous. A single person that decides to throw a bottle, light a fire in the streets, or smash a store window is going to create a chain reaction.
It is extremely easy for peaceful protestors to turn violent when a one person initiates an aggressive act. This creates a very dangerous situation that can turn into massive property damage in the area occupied by protestors.
Vandalism, looting, and arson have caused fatalities in many cases. This is the reason why civil unrest is never to be taken lightly. Even when it seems like handling it would be easily, the problem could turn into something very serious within minutes.
Another serious issue is that most insurance plans are not going to compensate business owners for all the damages to their property. In many cases, the compensation will barely cover half of the loss and this is a very serious financial hit. This is the case for most business owners.
Helping companies prepare for civil unrest situations
One of the biggest dangers of civil unrest is that you never know where the next protest will take place. It could happen just steps away from an office building or restaurant. It could be near a hotel or a clothing store.
The potential for damages and for criminal activity in any kind of protest is very high. Most protests develop into some sort of vandalism. Be it climbing light posts or jumping on the roofs of cars, there is very little that needs to happen to instigate property damage.
Given the way that the world is working today, we can see how things are turning out to be very difficult to handle. Insurance companies are not giving business owners the compensation they expect and this makes civil unrest a very scary proposition.
It almost feels like playing a game of dice and hoping you don’t have the bad luck of owning a business in a street that becomes the hot spot for any form of protest. This is the reason why companies need to invest in security training and staff. This is essential in order to protect their property during this kind of event.
The sooner that this happens, the easier it is to achieve the best results when the situation occurs. Ideally, it should never happen, but the world is becoming increasingly violent. Protesting turns to rioting in the blink of an eye and rioting turns to massive property damage in many cases.
Security companies need to come up with optimized plans to help business owners protect their property. This is going to be extremely important when dealing with any kind of security threat that involves civil unrest.
The sooner that a company identifies the dangers of this kind of situation, the easier it is to adapt. This gives business owners the chance to prepare for this possibility. It also gives security teams the opportunity to provide guidance on the best security measures for a property owner.
By David Wright, Director of SOC
Strategic Security Corp.