If new proposals are enacted, every dog in the country will be fitted with a microchip bearing a barcode that reveals the owner's name, address and number, as well as the pet's name, breed, age and health.
A 'TIGER' kidnapping is an abduction carried out in order to aid a robbery. It is characterised by predatory stalking in advance of the robbery and, in most cases, a family member is taken hostage while the target is made to take money, goods or information from the organisation they work for.
In choosing a target criminals involved in tiger kidnappings focus their attention on organisations with high-value goods or items which can be easily and rapidly sold.
Companies with high levels of cashflow continue to be a target but criminals are increasingly aware of the risks associated with marked notes, so easily off-loaded goods such as cigarettes are becoming an ever-increasing target.
Criminals will draw up a list of possible target organisations and the most vulnerable organisation is chosen following a detailed reconnaissance operation.
Surveillance is often conducted over long periods to establish essential information that will assist the criminal team in the preparation of plans.
Like any business, the criminal weighs up the opportunity (to get the goods), the risk (of being caught) and the possible reward.
The perception might be that victims of this type of crime are senior management. In actual fact this is not always the case.
Many targets are more junior employees who have been chosen because their level of security awareness is not good, they may have easy access to the funds, and less of a feeling of ownership for the funds or goods that they are being asked to take.
Over the past five years tiger kidnappings have increased by more than 300% and organised criminal gangs have had to adopt more and more sophisticated tactics in order to counter the obstacles from ever-increasing physical and electronic security measures deployed by organisations.
But organisations frequently overlook the need to train employees in security awareness. Criminals are aware that many organisations have significantly reinforced physical security onsite, but fail to follow through with what criminals identify as the weakest link - the human factor.
The criminal will stalk the victim over a prolonged period determining their habits and routines and compiling information on their family, the type of car they drive, the route they take to work, what recreation facilities they use regularly and so on.
Lack of awareness on the employee's part will increase the likelihood of the kidnapping. Have any of your staff been befriended and quizzed about your security or procedures? Has there been unusual activity around your home or office?
Companies who have been the victim of a tiger kidnapping run a greater risk of being targeted a second time within two years unless they are seen to have substantially reviewed their security procedures and enhanced staff security awareness. Employee security is the single most important thing at stake and employee trust in the organisation's ability to counter that threat is vital. Trained personnel must be able to reassure employees that their safety is paramount.
Although you cannot completely eliminate the risk of a tiger kidnapping, the risk can be reduced enormously.
Technology has increasingly played a major role in the detection and prevention of crime and it certainly pays to review and evaluate the latest innovative offerings in the market. Employees should be trained in recognising the risks involved and robust procedures seen to be in place.
Weaker links in the chain can be identified through a comprehensive security audit and fortified through a robust security enhancement programme that looks at physical, electronic and procedural security and thorough staff security awareness.
While the threat is real and the consequences can be traumatic, it must be stressed that the statistical probability of a tiger kidnap occurring is low.
Nevertheless, it is essential that these risks are recognised in advance and effective steps taken to ensure that awareness levels are high and that the criminal does not hold all the cards.