Businesses look for a solution

2013-10-31 00:00

CENTRALISING information on businesses robberies seems like the best solution to stop criminals hitting them.

This suggestion yesterday got the nod from retailers, banks, and security companies when they met with provincial police commissioner General Mmamonnye Ngobeni in Durban.

The discussion centred around how best to combat business robberies, cash-in-transit heists, and “cross-pavement” hits (when cash delivery trucks get robbed when fetching or dropping off money at businesses).

Centralisation and co-ordination of investigations, and information sharing between business and the police could diffuse the situation, the group agreed.

Retail stores representative Neal Tomlinson said the challenge in combating crime in general, and against businesses in particular, arose from lack of co-ordination in investigations.

In the past five months in Umlazi, there had been a series of robberies targeting a particular retail store.

“Business and cross-pavement robberies are a serious concern.

“Through our CCTV footage we have since discovered that it’s the same criminals that commit the crimes.

“The lack of co-ordination in investigations therefore doesn’t help in speeding up the apprehension of these criminals,” said Tomlinson.

“Centralising investigations would enable investigators to share information gathered in various areas through CCTV cameras, and by security companies who often catch criminals during their own investigations.”

Security companies representative Nico Potgieter said they had also been able to identify criminals through CCTV footage and that some of these criminals were hitting on one part of the city, then moving to another before coming back again after a while.

Ngobeni said police were aware of the upward surge in serious crime and business robberies.

She acknowledged that the police alone cannot solve the crime situation in the province.

“We understand that the festive season is upon us and that criminals will pounce on unsuspecting people and businesses.

We are looking at increasing the capacity to deal with investigations.

We are also looking at employing more informants and a memorandum of understanding and commitment will be signed by all the parties involved.”

“In our next meeting a strategy will be drawn up and implemented according to plan,” she said.

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