War on criminals

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Criminals who target shopping malls are in for a shock as police and business have mounted a massive campaign to ensure a crime-free festive season.

"There will be a no-nonsense approach to law and order. Criminals are getting cleverer and we must be a step ahead of them," said Gauteng police spokesman Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini. He said police had already embarked on operations in Gauteng.

"We have also approached managers of major shopping malls to beef up security. Criminals who think of committing crime must think twice.

"Police have embarked on aggressive law-enforcement campaigns to halt criminals and that is why in the past few days criminals have lost many battles," Dlamini said.

He was referring to a series of successes in which police stopped criminals dead in their tracks. Yesterday, a suspect was shot dead and another wounded in a shootout with police in Dobsonville, Soweto. Two robbers were also injured and arrested at a garage in Sandton on Tuesday after they had allegedly hijacked a BMW.

Shopping Centres Security Initiative chairman George Skinner said yesterday security at malls had been intensified.

"We are well prepared for the festive season. We have noted that most criminal activities happen after trading hours and thugs attack between midnight and 4am," Skinner said.

Business Against Crime spokesman Deborah Hunt said: "The Violent Organised Crime Working Group was established with the government and the SAPS to reduce violent and organised crime. This relationship is governed through meeting with the deputy minister of safety and security to address issues of managing crime, especially house and business robberies and vehicle hijackings."