From the news desk

Police presence at malls increase over festive season

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There was a heavy police presence at the Liberty Promenade mall in Mitchells plain today as last minute Christmas shoppers took advantage of the time in order to run last minute errands. Security has been beefed up at the mall and others considered too be high risk for crime following a spate of attempts at theft and robbery of stores.

Acting police commissioner Thembisile Patekile says officers will be deployed at all malls across the province until January.

“Our target now is to ensure that the visitors and shoppers are safe, Operation Fiela will ensure that the community is safe whilst they are doing their day to day activities,” Patekile said.

Abie Isaacs, chairperson of the Mitchells Plain community policing forum (CPF) says that there are 700 police officers in Mitchells Plain for a population of over one million, however the community have been assisting the CPF and the police in a bid to hinder crime in the community.

“While we have police on duty inside malls we also have volunteers at the town centre mall who are assisting the police during the festive season,” Isaacs said.

Mall managers however were concerned about police visibility. They feel that police presence is hardly felt, expressing that their presence makes no difference in deterring shoplifters and ensuring the safety of shoppers. Others feel the onus still remains solely on the individual to ensure their own safety.

Some have also expressed being at ease with the increased police visibility. All shoppers and holidaymakers are urged to remain alert and vigilant, more especially over the festive period. VOC

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