49% increase in cash in transit attacks in 2017

Hi-Risk Unit spokesperson Gareth Pahl said not long ago another heist took place at the mall.

There has been a significant 49 per cent increase in cash-in-transit attacks for the first eight months of 2017 when compared to the same period last year, says the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) CEO, Kalyani Pillay.

Wahl Bartmann, Fidelity Group CEO, confirmed that just last week eight to 10 armed suspects had gained access to the Fidelity Vryheid depot, making off with millions of Rands. This week he confirmed there were a further two incidents, one in Brits and one in the Free State, but both were fortunately unsuccessful.

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“Unfortunately we have seen a spike in cash-in-transit heists across the country this year and these incidents exacerbate an already dire situation of attacks on cash-in-transit vehicles and staff,” says Bartmann.

According to stats compiled by SABRIC between January 1 and August 31, there have been 232 incidents across the industry involving various modus operandi, cross-pavement attacks being the most prevalent.

“We know syndicates perpetrating these kinds of crimes are highly skilled and organised. We are constantly evolving our technology and changing our procedures to ensure we stay one step ahead of the criminals.

“Unfortunately the increase in crime, coupled with high unemployment, is impacting on the number of robberies and heists. We have also seen a move from urban areas, where we have clamped down quite substantially, to the more outlying areas.”

Pillay concurs, saying heists are no longer confined to urban areas only but also occur in rural towns across South Africa. The provinces that experienced the highest increases in the past eight months are the Western Cape followed by North West and Gauteng.

SABRIC is working closely with Fidelity, other CIT companies and law enforcement officials to analyse the crime risk information and jointly come up with strategies and risk mitigation measures to collectively deal with this crisis.

Bartmann cautions consumers to stay alert, particularly as we move towards the festive season, where heists of this nature typically spike even further.

“We know wherever there is money there is risk and this risk does escalate at certain times of the month and typically during the latter half of the year.”

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Kempton Express

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