Consumer, tenant safety priority at shopping mall
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.
TARGETED: Mall of the South has been hit by a spate of robberies.