Fri, 24 May 2019

There is a tendency among criminals to use the Easter long weekend - and its spike in shopping - to their advantage, says Richard Phillips, joint CEO of retail cash management company Cash Connect.

"Retailers need to appreciate the fact that cash crime is prevalent in SA and not going away any time soon.

"Therefore, retailers can make a material contribution to improving the general safety of stores, staff and customers," he told Fin24 on Tuesday.

For instance, over the past two years there has been a 16% increase in non-residential cash robberies countrywide over Easter.

"There's R140bn in circulation in South Africa at any given time and cash robberies remain unacceptably high, with over 50 a day," said Phillips.

Liquor stores a soft target

Almost half of all cash non-residential robberies countrywide, occur in Gauteng, followed by the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

"Just as retailers understand customer demand over these peak seasons, they also need to take cognisance of criminal trends. Liquor outlets in particular are soft targets," said Phillips.

"Easter is a time for retailers and security agencies to refocus. It's a period that places retailers, their staff and their customers at risk, and it makes sense to re-introduce simple tricks and tools to reduce the chances of becoming a target."

He added that consumer can find out very quickly which stores were targeted and will then avoid those.

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