The Consumer Goods Council of SA has reported that the number of armed robbery incidents aimed at its members has decreased substantially to 14 per month since November last year, when the average number of robberies per month was 25.
The number of armed robbery incidents reported by members decreased by 44% in the month of April to 14 from 25 in the same month last year (April 2009). The financial losses suffered relating to these robberies in April amounted to R391 993, a significant decrease of 89% when compared to the R3,53m in April of 2009. This would indicate an average of R28 000 loss per robbery in April 2009.
According to Michael Broughton, director of the CGC’s Crime Prevention Programme, there was a lot of publicity given to armed robberies last August with the notion that retail crime statistics were on an upward trend. “Our view at the time was that it was a spike rather than an upward trend, and this has been borne out by the year end statistics.”
In spite of the rise in crime during June, July and August, retail crime statistics have remained steady since December and are continuing to decrease gradually.
“We have focused on a range of measures to make our members’ stores less attractive to robbers. This has paid dividends in that not only have the number of incidents decreased, but the average financial loss per incident has dropped dramatically – in some instances five or six robbers got away with less than R1000,” Broughton says.
However, burglary incidents reported increased during the month of April. Burglary incidents reported by CGC members increased 37% to 37 in April 2010 from 27 last year. Financially this resulted in losses amounting to R1,9m from R1,1m last year, an average of R50 954 loss per burglary. The CGC’s Crime Prevention Programme continues to study the modus operandi of the robbers and looks for new ways to counteract them. New 'Best Practices' are being developed all the time.
Broughton also commended the improvement in the response by the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the number of arrests. “The SAPS have really upped their game.”
The SAPS have also formed a partnership with the CGC and its members to tackle crime related issues within the retail industry and develop strategies to reduce crime levels going forward.
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