Local malls on high alert for criminals

2009-12-17 00:00

LOCAL shopping malls, particularly the Pavilion in Westville and the Liberty Midlands Mall in Pietermaritzburg, have partnered with law enforcement officials to ensure that the festive season is a safe period for patrons.

Malls across South Africa, particularly those in Gauteng, have been on high alert in recent months following a spate of robberies at a number of centres earlier this year.

Liberty Midlands Mall told The Witness that its contingency plans for the festive season include the deployment of additional security officers to patrol the mall.

Patrols will also be conducted throughout “high-risk stores”, including banks, and the visibility of security staff will be prioritised across the mall.

Other measures are CCTV monitoring, an ever-alert control room and an officer on a quad bike patrolling the open parking area.

Liberty Midlands Mall has also requested greater police visibility during the peak period in December 2009.

“Members of the SAPS will also be patrolling the floors and the open parking, liaising with our control room. The traffic department has also been requested to direct traffic at all our main vehicle gates,” the mall said.

The Pavilion shopping centre said it has stepped up measures to cater for the influx of people, especially the youth.

“Constant meetings with SAPS, Metro Police and Business Against Crime have been held to prepare for the festive season,” said Shaun Ackerman, operations manager for the Pavilion.

Measures include specific and regular patrols in all obscure and isolated areas, as well as monitoring through CCTV cameras.

“All shops that sell alcohol will also be closely monitored by security officers and CCTV cameras to ensure that no alcohol is sold to minors,” added Ackerman.

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