Today Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko announced South Africa’s national crime statistics for the 2015/2016 period and once again the statistics show that crime against our business sector is still on the rise.

“I don’t think anyone expected this year’s crime statistics to be an improvement over the last two years; in fact, they show a continuous upward spiral,” says Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect Management Solutions.

Robbery against businesses for the 2015/2016 financial year shows that there were 19, 698 while for the 2014/15 financial year there were 19,170 robberies. This is an increase of 2.8% with the highest reported cases in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

According to Phillips, cash in our retail sector continues to be a primary target of organised crime.

With this in mind, the Consumer Goods Council of SA recorded more than 1000 armed robbery attacks against their retail members between March 2015 and February 2016, and over 400 burglaries in the same period, which is an increase of 62%. The organisation now stresses the importance of protecting the retail environment since it accounts for 18% of our Gross Domestic Product.

While bank robberies have decreased by 64%, with only 6 cases reported across the country, Cash in Transit robberies have once again increased by some 15%.  “Organised crime remains very active in the cash economy. We believe that there has been at least a 35% increase in attacks against retail cash deposit machines and a marked increase in the use of explosives,” adds Phillips.

What these latest statistics don’t reveal is the fact that ATM and cash safe bombings have also increased drastically over the past few years.  “Light-weight cash deposit machines containing large amounts of cash are the new focus. Once again, the use of plastic explosives to gain access to the cash in these devices has become a popular tactic,” says Phillips.

Phillips adds that every year our retail sector has faced higher crime spikes.  With the current cash in circulation figure of R130billion as recorded by the SA Reserve Bank, crime against businesses with high cash turnover is without a doubt, still a serious problem.  Unless something drastic happens the impact it has on our economy seems like a long term reality.

“The senior police management team has undergone a revamp under the direction of General Phahlane and we are hopeful that South Africa’s Police Service will make a change for the better.  But, South Africa cannot expect the police service alone to fight organized crime.  We desperately need a collaborative intervention that ensures that the criminal justice cluster will work in close cooperation with each other and with key industry players in the cash management, cash in transit and retail sectors.  Cash Crime must therefore be treated as a priority crime,” says Phillips.

Businesses that make use of traditional cash management systems and accumulate large sums of cash on site are the most vulnerable for attacks.  They are now forced to increasingly invest in security, to the detriment of expanding and growing their business interests and providing employment opportunities.

It’s time retailers face reality and rethink the way they safe-guard their hard-earned cash.   

Cash Connect believes that businesses should operate in a safe retail trading environment. With South Africa boasting the best technology to curb cash related crime, a robust automated cash management solution has proven to be the most effective deterrent to armed robbery, burglary, theft and cash losses. To avoid these consequences of cash crimes, retailers must consider a cash vault that is built to minimum Category 4 SABS standards to resist most of the common methods of forced entry and deflect the criminal to softer pickings.

Currently Cash Connect is South Africa’s leader in automated cash management solutions for businesses.   It’s their goal and belief to enable businesses to operate more efficiently and securely. 

“Our cash vault technology has been vigorously tested on numerous occasions over the past few years by determined and organised criminals using every kind of tool from explosives to sledge hammers. It has undeniably delivered on the level of deterrence and defence necessary to discourage a repetitive continuance of the scourge of violent crime,” says Phillips.

But this cash vault is merely one cog in a holistic cash management approach. 

“It has to be an end-to-end solution that guarantees your cash from the moment it’s deposited into the safe until it is in your bank account.  This is the future of retail banking and it’s been available for a while now,” says Phillips.

Business crime statistics may very well increase again come 2017. Currently there’s little to indicate otherwise. But our retail sector can make a difference. By letting go of the old and embracing the most reliable technology available, it can expect a meaningful decrease in attacks against business.

About Cash Connect

Cash Connect Management Solutions offers an end-to-end cash management solution that encompasses cash in transit logistics, security management and cash processing. Established in 2006, Cash Connect’s specialist solutions for retailers remove risk and maximise cash flow through swift settlements.

Cash Connect is one of the largest suppliers of cash to the banking system and boasts close on R40 Billion a year that it manages on behalf of its diversified client base across the country.

It isan approved service provider to blue-chip companies such as Spar Group, Shell, Engen, and Pick ‘n Pay and OK to name but a few.

The executive management team - led by joint CEOs Richard Phillips and Steven Heilbron - has an unrivalled pool of specialised cash logistics, security and banking experience.  The board of directors is chaired by Ivan Epstein, CEO of the Sage Group AAMEA (Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia).

Cash Connect is a private company, with Old Mutual’s specialist fund, Futuregrowth Asset Management, as its largest institutional shareholder. 

Idea Engineers on behalf of Sumay Herbst: Cash Connect
Tel: +27 11 010 4300  / 083 286 2799
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