From the news desk

New operation to address shopping mall crime

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With armed robberies hounding Cape Town shopping centres, Business Against Crime(BAC) in the Western Cape is running operation ‘Shopping Centre Security’ to tackle the spate of armed robberies. Business Against Crime is collaborating with South African police, shopping mall centre management and private security to address the outbreak of armed robberies invading Cape Town malls.

“We with the South African police service, security and companies’ management to work as a collective to look at an effective way to address the crime in shopping malls,” says spokesperson Andrew Anthony.

The new plan comes after a spate of armed robberies at various shopping centres since 2014 and failed attempts to effectively tackle the problem. The non-profit company has been in search of an effective approach to improve operations targeted towards crime control at shopping centres.

“Although we don’t roll out security measures we look for different approaches to use to deal with specific incident. We as a collective look at ways to solve the issue of crime,” says Anthony.

The operation includes stringent security measures in which searches of property of shopping mall visitors will be done and an increase of security patrolling on the premises. Security procedures will be rolled out at all shopping malls throughout the Western Cape.

Despite the percentage of robberies being prevalent the NGO has managed to liaise with security and centre management at shopping malls to inform them on ways to be vigilant and alert to any suspicious activity.

“People tend to think that the level of crime at shopping malls are quite high but this initiative run by Business Against Crime is a long standing initiative as we try to curb robberies at shopping centres,” says Anthony.

There was chaos at Trigg Jewellery Store in Cavendish Square this week when a group of four unidentified men stripped the store leaving with an undisclosed amount of cash and jewellery. Staff and security were held at gun point and other shoppers were locked inside other stores as the criminals ran amok. Alarms alerted everyone to evacuate the building. No injuries were sustained and the store has been reopened.

BAC says the onset of the festive season will see an increase in shopping mall crimes.

“The festive season is approaching and criminals are doing their work early. We have informed companies to be more alert,” says Anthony. VOC

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