The DA will write today to the Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, and the National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, to request that a full and complete briefing be presented to Parliament on how the spate of mall robberies will be contained.
The DA believes such a plan must have been drawn up after the first Mall robbery, and if it wasn’t we will want answers as to why a national plan to stop mall robberies pulled together by the Criminal Intelligence, the private security firms that are guarding malls and the mall ownership is not being implemented nationwide.
It is in everyone’s interests to work together to stop this now. In fact, the SAPS should have been on the forefront of putting this plan together when the first mall robbery took place earlier this year.
The latest mall robbery in Somerset West brings the total up to 15 armed robberies at shopping centers in the last four weeks in Cape Town alone. In Gauteng, 11 malls were robbed in September. The problem is clearly especially serious in Cape Town and Gauteng and it is likely that these crimes are being committed by a limited number of well-organised syndicates. We need the SAPS Criminal Intelligence unit to go into overdrive to find and prosecute these thugs.
The current situation is extremely worrying. The National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, made submissions to the portfolio committee on Police in the last 48 hours suggesting that the South African Police Service (SAPS) Crime Intelligence was “on top of” the mall robberies scourge. This is clearly not the case, as the situation is spiraling out of control.
The DA was correct in doubting this statement and I made it very clear in the Committee that the National Commissioner was either unaware of the situation or being economical with the truth.
As the festive holiday shopping season approaches, this issue will only deteriorate until co-ordinated and concerted efforts are undertaken by all affected stakeholders.
The SAPS cannot ignore this issue and hope it goes away like they did for the years it took to deal with cash-in-transit attacks. Criminals have found a new, relatively easy target and are becoming increasingly brazen in their attacks, putting innocent members of the public in harm’s way.
The DA cannot and will not sit idly by and allow the safety of our citizens to be gambled on by an ill informed and ineffective police service. We call on urgent action without delay.
Dianne Kohler Barnard
Shadow Minister of Police
Source : Democratic Alliance