From the news desk

South Africans warned to approach Easter holidays with caution

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With almost 195 burglaries and 55 robberies occurring in commercial spaces daily, as we approach Easter holidays, cash volumes are expected to rise, making retailers vulnerable to such crimes.

Security experts met with various stakeholders in Sandton on Tuesday to discuss the latest statistics and trends in retail cash crime.

While preparations are set to take place for one of the oldest Christian celebrations, South African retailers and consumers are warned to approach the holiday with caution.

Between 2017 and 2018, retails robberies and burglaries increased by 16% during Easter.

Cash Connect Management Solutions CEO, Richard Phillips says that bandits become very active during this time of the year.

“We historically have always seen in the Easter period and the period leading up to December, leading up to Christmas, a spike in the amount of cash flowing and so cash is a target because it is the primary reason why most of these armed robberies take place. So, the bandits become very active at that time of the year.”

Strong law enforcement agencies have been cited as the only solution to reducing this type of crime.

ISS Senior Research Consultant, Dr Johan Burger says that police should take a proactive instead of reactive role.

“What we need is an overall integrated, aggravated robbery strategy where the police can focus on the syndicates behind these crimes and where they then become proactive than the current reactive process.”

According to Cash Connect, 71%t of retailers manage their money manually, making them more vulnerable to robberies and burglaries.

Experts say automated cash management and vigilance are the way to go at this time of the year.

Media Communications Liaison Manager SABRIC, Louise van der Merwe, says that ATM robberies are a huge problem.

“It is also about ATM robberies which is a huge problem so we always tell people you are your money’s best protection. Don’t let people help you at the ATM, if someone tries to help you and looks friendly and well dressed, don’t be fooled. So social engineering also plays a role so we tell people to be sensible.”

Richard Phillips says that businesses should be prepared when cash-in-transit vehicles come to collect deposits.

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