Mall robberies: SAPS’ release of Identikits commendable, public must now act

Dan Plato, MPP

Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

I commend the South African Police Service (SAPS) for releasing identikits and calling on the people of the Western Cape to assist with identifying the suspects involved in the recent spate of armed robberies at malls and shopping centres.

It must be understood that certain criteria needs to be followed before the SAPS can release CCTV footage to the public, and now that they have done so, I urge the public to assist the police with information on the whereabouts of these suspects.

Members of the public can rest assured that the information will be treated confidentially and can submit information on the whereabouts of suspects to Captain Charl Kinnear (082 820 8015). For more information or the relevant photos, the public can visit the SAPS’ press release.

I also urge the police to, where possible, partner with the public in the same manner for assistance in other crimes committed. We are all striving to create safer communities in the Western Cape and through meaningful partnerships, these safer environments are possible.

However, for the whole-of-society approach to be effectively implemented we have to be consistently critical of any loopholes that require the attention from any sphere of government, department or organisation involved.

In this regard, we have to ask where the loopholes are that allowed at least two of the identified suspects to be roaming the streets when they are repeat offenders out on bail, for armed robbery perpetrated in March already, and failed to return to court.

These loopholes need to be investigated and closed as a matter of urgency. I will be raising this matter with the Provincial SAPS management.