Mall Robberies: Arrests welcome but plan of action needed

John Moodey MPL

DA Gauteng Provincial and Caucus Leader

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng welcomes the arrest of five suspects involved in the recent spate of mall robberies in the province.

According to Provincial Police Commissioner, Letsetja Mothiba, eight armed mall robberies have taken place in Gauteng in the past 22 days.

What the Commissioner failed to do in his briefing this morning was to provide a clear plan to tackle these and other crimes in the province.

Having Nyalas parked at shopping malls will only signify a police presence and these vehicles are not capable of high speed car chases.

Using our limited supply of Nyalas on a long term basis is also not sustainable as they are needed at National Key Points, as mobile safe havens along routes where dignitaries are transported and during violent protest action.

Further, most shopping malls have multiple entrances; therefore, it would be more of a deterrent for shopping centres to tighten entrance and access control.

However, there are limits to the extent which shopping malls can take responsibility for their own security and the DA has long advocated that improved crime intelligence is critical to combatting such incidents and disrupting organised crime.

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 suspects arrested this morning will be brought swiftly to justice and that further intelligence will lead to the disruption of this syndicate for good.