Gauteng Mall Robberies: DA notes appointment of national investigators

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Caucus and Provincial Leader

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng notes the announcement by Gauteng Police Commissioner, Lesetja Mothiba, that national detectives have been appointed to investigate the recent spate of mall robberies in the province.

Several malls across Gauteng have been targeted by gangs in recent weeks, often resulting in the injury of innocent by-standers.

The DA has long advocated that improved crime intelligence is critical to combatting such incidents and disrupting organised crime.

Shopping malls are high traffic areas and as such, the risk of injury to shoppers is high. Initiatives from organisations such as Business Against Crime to have number plate recognition technology installed at shopping malls should be applauded. However, it is the SAPS response to reported incidents which is of the greatest concern.

Due to resource challenges, many police stations are unable to meet national standards of two patrolling vehicles per sector, per shift. Instead, in many cases, it is left up to the Visible Policing Units to be the first respondents.

A critical part of crime prevention also relies on crime intelligence units building a network of informants to supply the SAPS with leads. This is not done effectively in South Africa despite being a highly successful international policing strategy.

We hope that the appointment of national detectives will go a long way towards bringing these gangs to justice and restoring the peace of mind of residents in Gauteng. However, much work remains to bring our crime intelligence and effective crime prevention strategies up to scratch.