The Strike Management division, or ‘Strike Force’, of Mi7 National Group provides superior crowd and event management as well as threat mitigation and strike security services with years of experience in security coordination and riot control throughout South Africa.

We are a provider of well-screened, trained, and managed strike force personnel who are responsive in critical situations and dedicated to protecting people and property during labour strikes, community uprisings, protests and coordinated threats. As seasoned security professionals, our carefully-recruited officers have the unique skills and professional philosophy required for the level of strike security and crowd management demanded by the industry.

Strike Force members are trained according to standards and procedures set out by the South African Police Service. This ensures our units can easily work alongside police in a coordinated manner should an active scene occur where multiple stakeholders from the security cluster are responding.

Additionally, our members receive additional in-house training every year to bolster their skill set and keep them up-to-date with new tactics, curriculum, and research into crowd management. We work in cooperation with our clients, planning for any contingency and providing a lowconfrontation, high-documentation approach to strike security and crowd management in order to limit client liability and prevent violence. Our extensive pre-strike contingency planning as well as our professional approach have been instrumental in curbing protest action across the country. As a result, we have become a formidable strike and crowd management force in the industry as well as a bargaining chip for our clients.

Our Five-Pronged Approach to Strike Management

Mi7 National Group employs a five-pronged phase of strike management, each prong escalating to the next depending on necessity.

Today’s riot control units are not usually called riot squads anymore; they are crowd-management units. Rather than trying to beat the rioters in battle, Mi7 Natioanl Group just try to calm them down and get them to go home. The use of even non-lethal force is a last resort.

The first step in crowd management is making sure a riot doesn’t happen in the first place. Although riots can erupt unexpectedly, they are frequently tied to a planned protest or organized demonstration. When Mi7 National Group think a situation could potentially get out of control, they contact the organizers of the protest ahead of time.

They set up ground rules that the protesters are to follow and they designate a specific area for the event to take place. Mi7 National Group assign specially trained officers to monitor the event and to ensure that everyone stays safe. The police will only take action if the ground rules are broken.

If the officers disagree with the opinions of the protesters, they are still trained to maintain an unbiased attitude. The officers try not to look at the protesters as enemies. Instead, they recognize that the rioters are part of the same community that Mi7 National Group are entrusted to protect and serve.

There is fine balancing act. Even though Mi7 National Group are trained to be polite, they are careful to not give off an impression of subservience. They have to be seen as being in charge and in control at all times, even while they stay passive and allow the crowd to operate within the ground rules set out ahead of time.

Occasionally these preventative measures don’t work and a riot breaks out despite police efforts to keep everyone peaceful.

If a crowd gets disorderly and starts taking violent action, Mi7 National Group will switch to a more aggressive approach. They understand that most riots are led by a few individuals who feel strongly or have something to gain from a violent confrontation. The majority of the people are present either because something exciting is going on or they are simply bystanders that get caught up in the mob mentality. The likelihood of arrest or confrontation with police usually prompt them to escape and go home.

The first step is simple intimidation. Mi7 Natioanal Group stand in strict formations and act with military precision. Once they form the lines of barriers, they tap their batons on their shields or stomp their feet in unison. The result can be quite intimidating to unarmed civilians. It can appear that the group is getting ready to attack. In reality, this display is meant to scare off as many of the rioters as possible without the officers ever getting near them.

Mi7 National Group do not try to arrest every person in the riot. Their first targets are those who are leading the riot because the crowd will often disperse without their leaders encouraging them. Everyone seen breaking a law are also targeted for arrest, especially if they injure someone. When the officers are actually in conflict with the rioters, the objective is still to disperse the crowd.

A combination of advancing lines of officers and the use of gas is used to move the crowd in a particular direction. The crowd is never pinned down and always given an escape route. The main purpose of the crowd management team is to get the people to disperse causing no injuries. Protest Action in a public or private space, one needs to understand that there may be children so every effort must be made to ensure that no injuries, no abuse, and we must not treat rioters as criminals. This does not stop a trained officer to be firm and authoritive complying with the Rule of Law and protect all noncombatant members of the public.