The recent release of the national crime statistics by the South African Police Service (SAPS) has led to concerns over the increase of crimes committed against businesses within South Africa. The crime statistics for the 2015/2016 revealed that a total of 19, 698 robberies occurred in the country, compared to 2014/2015, which revealed that a total of 19,170 robberies. The report reflected an increase of 2.8%, with the highest reported cases in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Speaking to VOC, CEO of Cash Connect & an expert in cash management and logistics, Richard Phillips, gave in sight into the flare up of crimes committed against businesses.
Phillips explains that these kinds of crimes are on the increase due to the fact that cash is generally manually handled in businesses, therefore, providing ample access for perpetrators to access large sums of money.
“Cash is generally handled in a manual way in stores and a consequence of this is that it is relatively easy for criminals to attack. Bandits find out vulnerable stores where cash is manually managed and accumulated and then execute their crimes,” Phillips stated.
He says that the increase in cash-in-transit and armed robbery crimes is due to the fact that the crimes are carried out by organized criminals that are well equipped with resources such as weapons and explosives.
Phillips added that the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa recorded over a 1000 armed robbery cases against retailers and over 400 burglaries, which is an increase of 62%.
“Cash crime should be prioritized by the security and police justice cluster. They need a more coordinated approach to tackle organized crime in order to eliminate them from perpetrating these acts of crime because they are dangerous and violent, and the most vulnerable to these crimes are businesses and CIT (Cash-In-Transit) companies,” Phillips noted.
On a more positive note, Phillips said that South Africa is a world leader in the development of retail cash technology.
He explains that the new technology allows retailers to deposit their cash directly from the till into the device and be electronically credited for the value that they deposit.
“From the moment the cash is dropped into those devices the cash is removed from the retailer entirely and what’s important is that once the cash is removed from circulation of the business then it is no longer an attractive target for criminals,” he continued.
Phillips urges retailers to not adopt the ‘it won’t happen to me’ mentality and to bring an end to the processing of cash in store and instead to acquire a professional retail cash management solution.
VOC (Imran Salie)