'We are ready to fight fire with fire' – Gauteng MEC warns cash-in-transit criminals

2018-07-24 21:36
AllCash Technology illustrated the use of their vehicle vault protection device called the Protection Dispensing Unit. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

AllCash Technology illustrated the use of their vehicle vault protection device called the Protection Dispensing Unit. (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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The Gauteng community safety sector is willing to fight fire with fire to curb the current surge in cash-in-transit heists in the province.

Speaking at the launch of new safety measurements meant to reduce the crimes, community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said: "We also want to send a message to criminals to say that we are aware of your arrogance and we will deal with your arrogance decisively. We can [fight] fire with fire."

She was part of a panel discussion seeking solutions to curb cash-in-transit robberies.

Dispelling suggestions that the launch might provide cash-in-transit robbers with an insight into the new measures, Nkosi-Malobane said it instead sent the message that "we are ready".

"Sometimes you really need to get rid of such criminals, when they become too arrogant, and think they can shoot our people. You really need to send a message to say that we are willing to protect our people even if it means to take a life."

Nkosi-Malobane said finding a solution to the surge in the robberies was important to restore the credibility of the police and cash-in-transit companies.

Foam and ink as protection measures

At the discussion, AllCash Technologies illustrated the use of its vehicle vault protection device called the protection dispensing unit.

The unit protects assets in the vault area of the vehicle in case of a heist. Once activated, it releases a solid block of polyurethane foam.

When the foam hardens, all the bags and canisters are hardened in it. In the case of an attempt to blow up the vehicle, the hardened foam absorbs the blast.

The company also displayed its Cash Defender MK3 – which was designed and developed to allow the safe movement of physical cash bank notes outside of a cash van.

The device is fitted with advanced electronic detection technology which allows it to automatically defend itself against an attack and robbery. It then stains the money with ink, making it unusable.

AllCash CEO Graeme King said the attacks affected everyone in South Africa.

Into the criminal mind

"The time has definitely arrived that all the stakeholders need to sit up and start supporting each other. It's only by playing the part and supporting each other with solutions that we are going to get on top of the problem," King said.

King said the important message to take from their product was that a "stained note is a stolen note".

A second panelist and Interpol ambassador, Andy Mashaile, said to restore calm, safety and security in the industry the value chain of criminals needed to be deconstructed.

Mashaile said it was highly important to understand a criminal's mind.

"If you don't have that information how are you then going to disrupt the modus operandi?"

Mashaile also urged all security companies to collect intelligence and data to assist the police.

'Where do the guns come from?'

Statistics expert Chris de Kok, who was also part of the panel, said the issue of high-calibre weapons used in the heists needed to be addressed.   

"Where do these weapons come from? Where do R4s and R5s belong? In the police, in the army or where? We need to find out where these weapons come from – firearms that are not supposed to be in the hands of the public," De Kok said.

De Kok said statistics also needed to be released once a quarter.  

He said some police stations did a bad job of analysing statistics and did not provide "the basics of policing".

"That is the start of intelligence, your dockets are the start of intelligence and you have to analyse that on a daily basis otherwise you can't police properly."    

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