Latest crime statistics sends a stern warning to South African businesses
Police Minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko recently released the 2013/14 crime statistics for the period ending March 2014. Overall, the statistics show a significant increase in extreme violent crime including murder, attempted murder and robbery against businesses and retail stores with aggravating circumstances. It’s time for the retail sector to take serious note. Robberies on businesses recorded a 13.7 percent increase and considering the persistent upward trend over the past decade, it is unlikely that this will change soon.
According to Richard Phillips, Joint CEO of Cash Connect Management Solutions, the banking and Cash in Transit sectors continue to keep cash related armed robbery under control. For as long as criminals find it difficult and increasingly dangerous to attack these targets, they can be expected to focus on the comparatively unprotected cash located within the retail sector for easy hits.
Evidence of this can be seen from the armed robbery statistics for the business sector over the same periods which have increased close on 14% year on year to an average of 51 armed attacks a day. Break and entry burglaries average over 201 per day and as in the case of robbery, these attacks are primarily to obtain cash.
“While South Africa’s cash in circulation reached R119 Billion in 2013, and 84% of global payment transactions are made with cash, it once again proves that consumers continue to favour cash as the primary means of payment. It’s for these reasons that one of our main priorities is to ensure safer and speedy cash management methods for all businesses that deal with large sums of cash,” says Phillips.
However, many South African business owners still prefer traditional cash management methods which include bulk cash deposits. These methods are not only a drain on a business’s resources that drives up expenses and losses through man-hours, human errors and internal theft but, as the statistics show, they also make businesses vulnerable for armed robbery.
Cash is the target for over 95% of armed robberies and similarly over 90% of attacks involve some form of insider participation. More and more retailers are therefore starting to realise that their conventional cash handling systems are not adequate in this day and age. Fortunately for them, today there are more secure cash handling solutions.
The most successful of these cash management systems continues to be Cash Connect’s automated retail cash management solution. In the eight years of providing robust cash acceptance devices Cash Connect’s retail clients have reported only two armed robbery attempts thus proving quite emphatically, the inherent deterrent qualities of Cash Connect’s cash vaults that are built to SABS Cat 4 standards.
It’s now up to the retail sector to make the necessary adjustment to the way times have changed in doing business. Without taking the latest crime statistics seriously, too many businesses continue certain practices just because that’s the way they’ve always done things. They should realise that this no longer makes good business sense, and especially when it comes to looking after and managing their hard-earned cash. Cash still remains king and will for many years to come – and so will businesses remain vulnerable for armed robbery.
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. The company services more than 1,100 retailers processing over R2 billion a month and has been endorsed as the approved service provider to blue-chip companies such as Spar Group, Shell, Engen, 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 Dippenaar: Cash Connect
Tel: +27 11 010 4300 / 083 286 2799