Security company, Fidelity says despite figures indicating a reduction in cash-in-transit incidents during the month of June, it could be a different story for July.
“This week alone, there have been four cross pavement incidents and three vehicle attacks – one of these occurred in the Eastern Cape and two in Bloemfontein which is worrying as the crime could simply be dispersing into other areas,” said Wahl Bartmann, CEO of Fidelity Security Group, in a statement issued on Saturday.
In the latest incident, two SBV security guards were shot dead during a cash-in-transit robbery in Tsolo, Eastern Cape on Friday.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo told News24 that the guards were loading money at an ATM machine near a supermarket when a group of armed men pounced on them.
Naidoo said the suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of money in a hijacked van.
Bartmann said that it was essential that cash-in-transit attacks continue to be treated as priority crime.
“It is imperative that all stakeholders continue to apply pressure. We need to maintain a high level of visible policing with dedicated CIT investigation teams that are actively involved in intelligence gathering and resource deployment,” said Bartmann.
He said that the latest SABRIC statistics show that a total of 15 incidents were reported across the industry for the month of June.
“This is dramatically down from the 39 incidents reported in May and the lowest number of incidents recorded this year. The July stats to date however paint a different picture,” cautioned Bartmann.
In a statement issued on Friday, police officials welcomed the reduction of cash-in-transit robberies in the June figures, saying the implementation of the South African Police Service’s nationwide stabilisation programme was paying off.
Reduction in June figures welcomed
“These robberies have been reduced significantly by 61% in the month of June 2018, compared to the month of May 2018,” Police Minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole said in a joint statement.
More than 40 suspects had been arrested since June 4, 2018.
“Four of these suspects rank among the top 20 of identified suspects wanted for similar crimes,” the statement reads.
Cele and Sitole did note that despite the reduction in incidents, there had been several robberies and attempted robberies on cash-in-transit vehicles in the past week.
In two separate incidents, cash-in-transit vans were ambushed by a gang. One van was travelling on the N8 highway from Thaba Nchu, and the other was travelling from Botshabelo to Bloemfontein.
In both instances the drivers were shot and wounded in the leg.
Officers must be commended
“This was followed by another attempted robbery of a CIT (cash-in-transit) vehicle while travelling toward Umtata, then another on Atlas Road in Boksburg that left one suspect dead and a guard injured.”
There was also an attempt at an ATM in Dobsonville in Soweto on Thursday.
Sitole acknowledged that the security officials were “putting their lives on [the] line on a daily basis to protect the valuable cargo they transport” and should be commended for their efforts.
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