Minister Mthethwa reiterates war on jewellery and large sums heists
23 Jul 2012
Police also implementing strategies to tackle robberies of citizens after withdrawing large amounts of cash from the bank
The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa today urged police across the country to intensify the war on heists that target jewellery stores as well as large sums of money, and that criminals who target ATM robberies will be fought, toughly and smartly.
“A number of strategies were developed to address this crime which includes high visibility in identified hot spot areas, intensified police actions to squeeze the space for criminals and operations are conducted on a weekly basis by clusters and stations. Jewellery stores are policed by visible policing in their normal policing duties as well. Business forums have also been established at high risk shopping malls,” stated the Minister in a Parliamentary reply on what measures are currently being implemented to fight this scourge.
He stated that criminals now opted to clone bank cards and withdraw huge amounts of cash from accounts or purchasing expensive items. However, the police arrested a number of suspects and seized devices used to clone bank cards.
“As a result, these activities are declining. The last trend that has been identified is robberies of citizens after withdrawing large amounts of cash from the bank. They are followed by the criminals and robbed. Strategies are now also implemented to address this new trend and these incidents are being investigated by Organised Crime units through a task team approach,” he stated.
Meanwhile, much as the police will be fighting criminals, internal disciplinary measures are being implemented to discipline any member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who breaks the law. In responding to whether any members of SAPS are currently on suspension pending the outcome of disciplinary hearings, the Minister revealed that 150 members are currently on suspension, ranging from constable to lieutenant general.
Members are normally suspended as a precautionary measure pending the investigation and finalisation of those cases. Some of the notable charges include theft, corruption, murder, malicious damage to property, reckless and negligent driving, and possession of stolen goods to mention but a few.
The Minister also alluded to the failure by some police stations in parts of the country to forward complaints to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on time and to assist the IPID in fulfilling its constitutional mandate as police watchdog.
“In terms of IPID Act, the station commander must, immediately after becoming aware, notify the Directorate of any matters referred to in section and within 24 hours thereafter. Any police officer who fails to comply with this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years,” stated the Minister.
For the first quarter of the 2012/13 financial year the IPID recorded 49 cases that were reported either late or not at all. In terms of the provisions of section 33 of the Act, the IPID opened 38 cases against the members that failed to comply with the provisions of section.
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Issued by: South African Police Service
23 Jul 2012
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