Bank robberies on the decline

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pretoria - One of the biggest improvements noted in the crime statics for the 2010/11 financial year was a significant decline in bank robberies, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has announced.

Bank robberies decreased by a massive 58.1%, with just 39 cases recorded in the 2010/11 fiscal year, as opposed to the 93 cases recorded in the 2009/2010 financial year.

The minister attributed this success to coordinated efforts between police and businesses.
Mthethwa was also pleased with the statistics for cash-in-transit heists, which showed an 18.7% decline.

The arrest of key criminals involved in bank and cash-in-transit robberies, coupled with the police's rapid response, had yielded these results, he added.

Allowing photographs of criminals wanted for these crimes to be published had also led to arrests and contributed to the decrease.

However, Mthethwa expressed concern over ATM bombings, which had increased by 61.5%.

Most of these blasts took place in Gauteng, which accounted for 57.1% for ATM bombings, followed by North West with 12.4%.

"Some of these trends are informed by migration and displacement of crime from one province to another, but we are beginning to intensify our operations in some of these hard-hit provinces," he said.

Despite the massive increase in ATM bombings, the minister noted that there were also some successes.

"According to SABRIC [South African Banking Risk Information Centre], this form of crime has started to decline with a 17% decline in ATM robberies since April 2011, compared with the same period last year," Mthethwa added.

The crime statistics also indicated an increase in the commercial crime ratio by 2.8%.

The minister noted that commercial crime was not a South African problem but a global challenge, adding that police hoped to partner with their international counterparts to improve the way in which this type of crime is dealt with locally. - BuaNews

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