Acting national police commissioner General Khomotso Phahlane says officers will monitor various malls across the country to protect shoppers during the festive season.
“We made the decision that we are going to increase the police visibility and deploy officers in hotspot areas. We want to create a conducive environment for people to do their business,” Phahlane said during a visit to the Mall of Africa in Midrand on Thursday.
“Police can’t be seen as enemies of the people, we want to be seen as servants of the people. We are an organisation established in terms of the constitution of South Africa primarily to serve society.”
Phahlane said during the festive season criminals tended to target residents more, but said police officers would try and ensure that people are protected.
During his visit to the mall, Phahlane handed out gift bags and visited various shop owners.
The South African Police Service band kept the shoppers entertained with their music.
“Our position in society is to make sure that we contribute to that safe and secure environment. Everyone must be excited and feel safe to do their shopping,” Phahlane said.
In May and July alleged taxi disputes outside the Mall of Africa saw two people shot dead and at least three wounded.
Phahlane said the police would do everything in their power to combat crime and ensure the safety of festive season shoppers.
Brand manager at the shopping centre, Vanessa Fourie, said there had been various challenges at malls all over and not just at Mall of Africa.
She said people needed to be more aware.
“We can have as much security, but every shopper needs to pay more attention to awareness. In half of the malls you will see ladies with their handbags open or in a trolley, everything is about awareness,” Fourie said.[Source: news24]