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While the retail sector is trying to recover from the spate of violent armed robberies in December, the next peak season for crime is right on our doorstep.  

“All indications suggest that the retail sector experienced over 150% increase in robberies in 2016. In the same period, the use of plastic explosives in attempts to steal from cash deposit devices increased by over 400%. We can reasonably expect to see a spike in business crime during April as consumers go on holiday and the volume of cash increases at retail stores across the country,” says Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect Management Solutions.

As consumers plan to take a break, criminals certainly don't prepare to take time off – this is, in fact, their peak period for business. The trends show that syndicate attack in groups of 6 to 12 armed men, with armed robberies as the highest number of attacks, closely followed by business burglaries.

The common use of plastic explosives in the execution of an armed robbery against cash deposit devices and the dramatic increase in this kind of attack suggest that criminals are enjoying an abnormally high degree of success and that many of the devices in use are not strong enough to offer the type of resistance necessary to discourage them. 

During a burglary, the findings show that general retail stores that only trade during the day time are attacked when the stores are closed for business - the pattern with these occurrences is that an assortment of cutting machines, angle grinders and the like are generally used to access the safes.   

Security professionals caution that robberies are more often than not executed with careful planning by organized crime syndicates who collect as much information about the target as is possible. Information about the amount of cash and the general what, when and how the cash is protected is gleaned from within the business either by observation or by the help of employees or contractors, and in some cases, both.

It is a commonly held view in the security industry that more than 90% of all attacks on business involve voluntary or involuntary participation from the inside. 

The official crime statistics for the period 2015 /2016 show a 15% increase in attacks on cash in transit vehicles and while they are primarily responsible for moving the R130-billion in circulation in South Afri-ca, the CIT industry is expected to remain high on the criminal agenda.  

We welcome the Minister's recent commitment to a specialized police task force approach to cash crime as this is an essential part of the cash industry's response to this extremely violent and potentially crippling crime.

Criminals are without a doubt becoming smarter and more determined in their methods. Their common use of explosives is indicative of how better skilled they are becoming

“Time is a very important consideration of the attackers. The practice by some retail organizations, of closing their stores or, in larger operations, the cash collection precinct within the store, during the CIT collection, has proved to be a particularly successful tactic in countering and reducing the risk of attack during the store's most vulnerable time of day,” says Phillips

He adds that in his experience only hardened and robust cash deposit devices offer meaningful resistance to the very violent attacks to which they are exposed.  Over December, Cash Connect experienced 10 attacks on its cash vaults and every one of them were defended. A simple cash device that is constructed of mild steel plate and very light in weight, can't reasonably be expected to safeguard cash. 

With many of the latest attacks, CCTV footage shows that criminals are able to disable alarm systems and proceed straight to the cash vault, in a manner that suggests a familiarity with the layout of the store and where the cash is kept.

Armed reaction companies suggest that businesses should make sure there is more than one panic button with quick, easy access to armed response on the site. The jamming of security systems and devices is also a common tactic used to block the signals that go to the security company. The use of an alarm system connected to both a radio transmitter and landline could counter this. 

“Our cash vault technology, which is built to SABS Category 4 standards, has been vigorously tested over the past few years by determined criminals using every kind of tool from explosives to sled hammers. It has undeniably delivered on the level of deterrence and defense, necessary to discourage a repetitive attack of violent crime,” says Phillips. 

Constable William Pilane of the Kathu Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit was the investigation officer in an attempted rape case.  

The incident occurred in October 2015 in Smartie Town Kathu.  

The suspect allegedly tried to force him-self on the complainant. She screamed for help and the neighbours came to assist her. 

On 06 April 2017, the suspect, Mr NJ Nthekang, was sentenced in the regional court of Kathu to 4 years imprisonment, wholly suspended for 5 years with condi-tions. He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm. 

The Departments of Transport and Education have emphasized the need for a long term road safety strategy that will include road safety education across the country. The Department of Transport confirmed that they have embarked on extensive educational programs, which have reached 90% of radio listeners and 80% of television viewers.

Children and young people have a high involvement in road crashes, so they must learn to use the road safely. Receiving road safety education as part of their normal school curriculum is recognized as being one of the most effective ways of providing youngsters with road safety knowledge. Road safety education develops knowledge, skills, attitudes and even more importantly - values that enable pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists, drivers and passengers to use the road safely.  The Road Traffic Management Corporation has been tasked with providing road safety education.

The Gamagara traffic officials visited Sishen Primary School in Kathu to educate learners about their own safety on the road.

 

 

Lebogang Mothupi acting traffic manager, Miss Juanita Olifant traffic officer teach learners about road safety at Sishen primary school in Kathu.

 

 

On Friday 17 February 2017 around 08:00 at Silver street 5 was reported.  Mr Chris Lubbe, a volunteer of Kathu SAPS, received the information that the suspects are allegedly trying to sell the stolen goods at the back of Kameeldoring café.  He found the suspects in possession of the stolen goods and contacted Sergeant Kabelo Jonas of Kathu SAPS.  The two suspects were arrested for Theft after they were found in possession of a Hitachi drill and electrical cord. 

On Wednesday 15 February 2017 Constable Sam from the Social Crime coordinator together with members of SAPS Olifantshoek visited Maikaelelo Primary School in Ditloung as part of the Safety month programme. During the  visit Warrant Officer David Maroane from the Detective Branch Command handed out a school uniform to a needy learner in Grade 6.

Austine Okoye (37) and Angel Vigillance Williams (26) appeared before Danielskuil Magistrate’s Court on charges of Human Trafficking on Thursday, 16 February 2017.

 

A case of human trafficking was opened on Tuesday, 14 February 2017, after two minors aged 15 and 16 successfully escaped and reported the matter to the police. The minors were lured into visiting their friend in Postmasburg from Kimberley on 9 January 2017.  Upon arrival they were forced into prostitution by night and were locked up during the day.

 

Okoye was arrested on 12 February 2017 for a separate and unrelated matter. His arrest contributed to the minors’ successful escape from Williams who was later arrested. The minors were taken to a place of safety in an undisclosed location.

 

The police therefore appeal to other possible victims in Postmasburg area to break the silence and report human trafficking activities to the police.

 

The case against the duo was postponed to 24 February 2017 for bail application and they remain in police custody.

 

 

For enquiries: Captain Philani Nkwalase @ 071 481 3468

The police in Postmasburg are requesting the community to assist them in identifying a body of a woman. It is alleged that the body was discovered on 18 February 2017 at about 14:02 by a passerby on the fields along Beeshoek road. 

The body is of a middle aged woman, she was wearing a purple t-shirt, light brown dress. The woman is believed to have suffered multiple injuries to her head and also had a broken arm. 

 

Anyone with information or might know the person described is requested to contact Constable Tshidiso Mokgosi of Postmasburg Detectives on 082 302 0391 or 053 313 9327. All information received will treated as strictly confidential.

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