Let’s make the Metro safer: Call to businesses to rally against crime


Recently, you would have seen in the media, that police are urging businesses in the Metro to help combat a rise in crime in industrial areas.

We have seen a spike in business burglaries, including roof and safe breaks, and also armed robberies in the last few months. This is not to say that these are the only types of entries into commercial properties.

Criminals are looking for easy access to premises, as this buys them valuable time – almost becoming a smash and grab scenario, but not with motor vehicles – with businesses. Although the, now infamous, angle-grinder gang are still hard at ‘work’ gaining access via roof space and targeting safes, we are seeing more and more burglaries where the suspects are targeting doors and windows that provide easy access to premises.

They then take whatever is within easy reach – laptops, computer monitors, and other equipment – and losses can quickly escalate into hundreds of thousands of Rands.

My advice to businesses that could be targeted in these scenarios, is to check your premises for weak points and possible easy access points and ensure that these are properly secured. When a burglar is ‘researching’ premises – the less weaknesses your business has, the less likely it is to become a target.

As mentioned, the angle-grinder gang are continuing their mastermind strategy in terms of gaining entry via the roof, ripping the alarm panel – thereby disabling it, waiting for armed response and key holders to leave the property and then carrying out their excessive ransack.

Again, as quoted in several newspaper articles and our own newsletter – I cannot stress enough the importance of key holders on site – even at ungodly hours. Opening your premises for our response team definitely increases the likelihood of arrests and, if not arrested, suspects flee and so damages and losses are kept to a minimum. We have seen a drastic improvement in the attendance of key holders at crime scenes recently.

Once these burglaries have been carried out, you should report these activities to the SAPS. I know it is tedious and means you may have to appear in court, however the more cases these gangs and individuals have against them, the easier it becomes for the state to prosecute and ultimately send them to prison.

The SAPS and our teams are seeing a great willingness from citizens to improve this city – a newfound ‘gees’, particularly in relation to fighting crime. We would encourage all residents and business-owners to continue to work alongside us and the SAPS to improve the city we all call home.

In order to keep abreast of the latest crime trends and advice, you can now tune into the Atlas Crime Chronicles, every Tuesday at 13.10 on BayFM 107.9.

Tel: 041 401 2222 or email: [email protected]www.atlas24.co.za