Malls talk security with cops

2014-09-22 21:30
Retailers can exploit technology to boost customer engagement and sales. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Retailers can exploit technology to boost customer engagement and sales. (Duncan Alfreds, News24) (Duncan Alfreds)

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Johannesburg - The SA Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) would meet with police to discuss ways to fight organised crime targeting shopping centres in Gauteng, the council said on Monday.

"On one hand, malls can be better informed on threats and increased risks at certain retail stores, which helps contribute to prevention," CEO Amanda Stops said in a statement.

"We can also provide better information to the police which increases their success. We want to understand how we can support the police to improve the capture and prosecution of perpetrators, and reinforce their investigations."

On 9 September, Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba said Gauteng malls had been robbed 11 times since 13 August.

The modus operandi of the robbers was to enter shops posing as customers.

Mothiba said police suspected all the robberies may have been inside jobs, which was worrying.

He urged employers to look into their employees' integrity because it made the police and shop owners' jobs difficult.

Stops said preventing crime was the priority and this meant proactively sharing information and analysis about crimes, suspects, and suspicious vehicles.

Discussions with police, mall owners and managers would include these focus areas.

Work together

Stops said the council would also welcome minimum standards or guidelines for CCTV as well as minimum standards for the calibre of guards training and certification, as both would support safety.

SACSC president Marna van der Walt, said by working with retailers and police, malls could play a key role in crime prevention.

"Increased risk at one store in a mall has knock-on effects," she said.

"Retailers need to work in tandem with shopping malls, security providers and the police to ensure we are all suitably vigilant at higher-risk times for each store."

SACSC would also continue to work with the Consumer Goods Council of SA, Business Against Crime SA, and police to provide a safe environment for customers in shopping centres.

Read more on:    crime

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