Crime up by 13% at shopping centres

2014-09-15 00:00

THE Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), Crime Risk Initiative, has expressed concerns over the increase of crime incidents occurring at shopping centres by armed robbers targeting retailers, including jewellers and cellphone stores.

According to information reported to the CGCSA, 33% of all shopping centre robberies over the last year involved cash while 19% of the robberies targeted cellphone stores. The remainder of the incidents targeted jewellery, tobacco and liquor.

Year-on-year incidents of crime at shopping centres have increased by 13%.

Gauteng (51%) has the highest number of incidents reported to CGCSA, followed by the Western Cape with 20% and KZN with 10%.

Greater Edendale Mall spokesperson Lindani Shange told The Witness that last week a man was arrested by security guards after trying to rob a jewellery store inside the shopping centre. The jewellery store manager, who asked that her name be withheld, said CCTV footage revealed four men entering the store. One tried to distract the sales assistant while others attempted to break the glass display cases.

Head of the Consumer Goods Crime Risk Initiative (CGCRI), Dr Graham Wright, said they are a business unit within the CGCSA, ­specialising in reducing crime vulnerabilities of its members across the retail industry.

“Through the collection and analysis of crime information, we formulate relevant best practices aimed at assisting retailers in mitigating crime incidents,” said Wright.

“Having an overall picture of crime threats across the different industries allows us to assist the SAPS to make linkages, spearhead efforts and maximise the use of resources,” he said.

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