Consumer Goods Council of South Africa condemns latest shopping mall robberies

BY SUPPLIED - SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), Crime Risk Initiative, has expressed concern over the recent spike in armed robberies aimed at retailers, including jewellers and cell phone stores, situated within shopping centres.

According to information reported to the CGCSA over the past year, 33% of all shopping centre robberies over the last year involved cash whilst 19% of the robberies targeted cell phone stores. The remainder of the incidents targeted jewellery, tobacco and liquor.

Year-on-year incidents of crime at shopping centres have increased by 13%. Gauteng is highest targeted province with 51% of the reported incidents, followed by the Western Cape with 20% and KZN with 10% of the incidents reported to CGCSA. The remaining reported incidents occur in the other provinces, with Northern Cape being the least targeted.

"The dramatic increase in cell phone related armed robbery is worrying," said Dr Graham Wright, head of the Consumer Goods Crime Risk Initiative (CGCRI). “This shift of focus to cell phone stores requires greater focus on risk mitigation measures, security standards and best practises.”

The CGCRI is a business unit within the CGCSA and which specialises in reducing crime vulnerabilities of its members across the retail industry.

“Through the collection and analysis of crime information, the CGCRI formulates relevant best practises aimed at assisting retailers in mitigating crime incidents,” said Wright. “Having and overall picture of crime threats across the different industries allows us to assist the SAPS to make linkages and spearhead efforts and maximise the use of resources.”

“We believe that the creation of an inter industry Anti-crime collaborative platform is critical to the resolution of the crime challenges facing the industry and overall improvement of partnerships across the industry and between various stakeholders,” Wright said.