The police have recorded an increase in unsuspecting members of the community being threatened, attacked, robbed of items such as cell phones, laptops and jewellery, and then forced to give the robbers the pin code to their banking accounts, after which large amounts of cash is withdrawn at ATM’s. According to Brig. Mohale Ramatseba, police spokesperson, the victims are targeted while talking on their cell phone on the roadside.Lt Gen. Risimati Shivuri, Northern Cape police commissioner, has thus issued a stern warning to criminals that he will not allow them to make the Northern Cape a criminal playground.A 48-hour action plan has been activated following the recent spate of attacks on the public, especially in the Sol Plaatje municipal area.The plan includes assigning a task team led by Brig. Dick De Waal, provincial head of organised crime, and Brig. Tip Brink, acting cluster commander of Frances Baard, to investigate the robberies. The objective is to track down perpetrators who have total disregard for human lives and their property, as well as the authority of the state. “I am confident that these perpetrators will be brought to book, as we continue to stamp the authority of the state. Police members will flush out all criminals,” said Shivuri. The public are, on the other hand, also urged to be vigilant and alert and to avoid dark and secluded areas, especially at night and when alone.“If being followed by an unknown and suspicious vehicle, immediately drive to the nearest police station or an area where there are people, and alert them. If possible, try to memorise the registration number and full description of the vehicle.Shivuri also warned against picking up strangers or hitch hikers. He gave a tip to specifically address the crime that is on the increase.“Try to decrease your daily withdrawal limit at the bank to prevent large amounts of cash being stolen.”Members of the community are requested to call Capt. Tshawa Browers of the task team on 082-447-1829, if they have any information about perpetrators.