Con­sumer, ten­ant safety pri­or­ity at shop­ping mall

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - NOKUTHULA ZWANE nokuthula.zwane@inl.co.za @Zwane_2li2ls

IN LIGHT of re­cent shop­ping cen­tre rob­beries, Mall of the South’s man­age­ment main­tains that the safety of con­sumers and ten­ants is a pri­or­ity.

It has re­sponded to me­dia re­ports that the mall has be­come prone to such in­ci­dents in a short time. This fol­lows re­ports of a 104.5% in­crease in armed rob­beries since 2010/11, said Gareth Ne­wham, head of the jus­tice and vi­o­lence preven­tion pro­gramme at the In­sti­tute for Se­cu­rity Stud­ies.

Hester Smith, man­ager of the mall, in Aspen Hills, Joburg, said: “From Jan­uary to Septem­ber, Mall of the South has had five armed rob­beries, which oc­curred be­tween July and Septem­ber. Prior to this, Novem­ber 2016 to June 2017, the mall did not have any armed rob­beries.”

Smith said there had been some con­vic­tions for rob­beries but the more re­cent in­ci­dents were still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “The mall is work­ing closely with the Mon­deor SAPS; Michelle Pelser, chair­per­son of the Com­mu­nity Polic­ing Fo­rum’s Sec­tor 3, as it falls within that ju­ris­dic­tion; D&D Tac­ti­cal; and Qu­a­tro Hold­ings on these in­ves­ti­ga­tions.”

In a state­ment, the Zen­prop group, own­ers of the mall, said it was deeply con­cerned about the dra­matic in­crease in crime across South Africa, with shop­ping malls not com­ing out un­scathed by this scourge.

“While the group has no con­trol over the dra­matic in­crease in crime over­all, it has given the cen­tre man­age­ment team, the SAPS and the ap­pointed se­cu­rity firms pro­ce­dures and ini­tia­tives to as­sist and con­trib­ute to­wards re­duc­ing the inci- dents at the Mall of the South,” said Zen­prop.

It added that a safe and se­cure en­vi­ron­ment should be en­sured for the ten­ants and cus­tomers.

Ac­cord­ing to Zen­prop, it had al­lo­cated ad­di­tional fund­ing and re­sources to­wards the se­cu­rity per­son­nel to en­sure a height­ened and vis­i­ble se­cu­rity pres­ence as well as phys­i­cally en­hanc­ing the bound­ary con­trol and se­cu­rity.

“The Zen­prop group wishes to as­sure the com­mu­nity and loyal cus­tomers of the mall of its ab­so­lute com­mit­ment to cre­ate the safest and most se­cure shop­ping en­vi­ron­ment pos­si­ble un­der the cur­rent con­di­tions faced in South Africa at present,” the com­pany said.

Ac­cord­ing to Smith, the SAPS were aware of the in­crease in mall rob­beries, and had ad­vised that they could not comment at this stage as it might im­pede their on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“We are also con­cerned that so­cial me­dia plat­forms, such as Face­book, have fo­cused on the in­ci­dents at the mall, and

Un­for­tu­nately, it is a grow­ing prob­lem in South Africa

thus have cre­ated un­wanted at­ten­tion from those with crim­i­nal in­tent. Un­for­tu­nately, it is a grow­ing prob­lem in South Africa.”

Smith con­firmed that the mall had no­ticed that the types of stores be­ing tar­geted were mainly jew­ellery and cell­phone shops.

She added that ad­di­tional se­cu­rity mea­sures had been put in place, along­side the SAPS, which had also in­creased its pres­ence.

PIC­TURE: FACE­BOOK

TAR­GETED: Mall of the South has been hit by a spate of rob­beries.

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