Cops hailed for curbing heists

2010-12-28 00:00

THE “shoot-to-kill” policy of the SA Police Force has been ruled out as the cause of the reduction in cash-in-transit heists in the province.

Instead, different organisations who have joined the fight against crime have praised police for their dedication in targeting such offences.

Police intelligence has been cited as a factor in helping police stop criminals before they carry out the heists.

The group commander of the organised crime unit in Pietermaritzburg, Peter Scott, said police operations have become so advanced that they now know in greater detail what is going on in the cash-in-transit industry.

“Furthermore, the fact that all known cash-in-transit heist and bank robbery suspects have been arrested has helped in the reduction of such crimes,” said Scott, whose unit is in charge of serious and violent crime.

Scott also represents his unit in the Pietermaritzburg banks forum, which meets regularly to analyse the heists and bank robbery incidents.

“Good policemen are important in the fight against crime. Through crime intelligence, police have a network in the fight against crime. This includes liaising with banks,” he said.

He said police have succeeded in curbing such crimes, despite the fact that criminals have become more violent against police than ever before.

“Criminals have declared war against police, but we are succeeding in stopping them.”

However, Scott declined to say whether the success in the fight against crime is linked to the killing of suspects by police.

Safe City general manager Lucas Holtzhausen, who also attends the Pietermaritzburg Banks Forum, said that as far as he knows there have not been any bank robberies and cash heists in Pietermaritzburg in the last few years.

“If I’m not mistaken, it has been more than five years since we had a cash heist in Pietermaritzburg,” he said.

He also said that the police shoot-to-kill tactics have nothing to do with the reduction of serious robbery crimes.

Police ministry spokesperson Zweli Mnisi said partnerships with community members, businesses and banks have helped to reduce robberies.

“For now I cannot certainly say bank robberies and cash heist incidents are down.

“But if that is true we can attribute it to good policing together with communities and businesses.

“Also our intelligence is working very well,” said Mnisi.

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