HOT OFF THE PRESS: SA BUSINESS CRIME STATS 2016/17
57 business robberies a day - a warning light for SA’s retail sector
The 2016/17 #CrimeStats are a reminder that South Africa’s battle against syndicated and organised criminals is far from won.
“With a record high of 20 680 armed robberies against business recorded in the latest crime statistics, South Africa is experiencing 57 attacks per day, a figure that should prompt urgent and critical intervention by industry and government,” says Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect.
Judging by the national crime statistics released today by Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, cash related crime has increased yet again, sounding an alarm that the mitigation of cash crime should be prioritised.
Business robberies increased by 4.9% from 19 698 in 2015/2016 to 20 680 for the last year, while the business burglaries figure also shows an upward spiral with 75 618 burglaries in 2016/2017.
Following a new-millennium low of 119 CIT robberies reported in the 2014/2015 national statistics, the 2016/2017 graph shows an increase of 11% with 152 CIT robberies.
Sabric chief executive, Kalyani Pillay earlier this month revealed that the organisation had recorded 232 CIT incidents nationally this year from 1 January to 31 August. “An increase of 49% is evident when comparing this year to the same period last year,” Pillay said. “There is much concern at the number of injuries and fatalities among CIT staff, as well as the damage caused to CIT vehicles in the incidents where criminals use explosives during these attacks.”
The poverty statistics released by Statistics SA a few weeks ago confirm the high unemployment rate and aggravated poverty prevailing in our country. With this in mind, Phillips says, “While it would seem logical to ascribe the high levels of cash crime to the poverty rate, along with other factors like weak economic growth, continuing high unemployment levels, lower commodity prices, higher consumer prices (especially for energy and food), lower investment levels, greater household dependency on credit, and policy uncertainty, I am not convinced that this is an accurate assumption.
I am of the opinion that the real issue is the re-emergence of organised criminal syndicates on our streets. Professional and habitual criminals who are extremely well organised, skilled and financed, are attacking the retail sector, the CIT sector, as well as banks and ATMs in pursuit of large quantities of cash.”
For Phillips the big issue remains the prioritisation of cash crimes. “The SAPS has to ensure that crime intelligence, policing, the NPA and the courts collaborate with the cash industry in the interests of safeguarding the cash that feeds the retail and commercial economy,” he says.
Based on past lessons and information contained in crime statistics, investment in three areas could be the answer for the retail and CIT industries.
Our mailing address is: Cash Connect, Innesfree View, 4 Harris Street,Sandown Ext 20, Sandton, 2196, South Africa