Crime stats show steady rise – SAPS

CARJACKING, robbery at home and robbery at non-residential premises statistics all saw large increases, with incidents of vehicle hijacking seeing the biggest increase across all crime categories.

This was revealed in a recent crime statistic report, released by the SAPS for the period April 2016 – December 2016.

Since the start of this year, a number of jewellery shops, one second-hand store and cellphone stores in some of the city’s busiest centres have fallen victim to crime.

Most recently, a gang of five hammer-wielding gunmen stormed The Workshop – in the CBD – early on Saturday morning and broke into a clothing store.

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Blue Security operations manager Brian Jackson said two of them were wearing balaclavas.

“The armed robbers walked into the mall and pointed their firearms at security guards on site before using a hammer to smash their way into a clothing store. They smashed the front door down and grabbed clothing and cash before fleeing the scene,” Jackson said.

Last month, a gang reportedly used a similar modus operandi to break into a shop in the Southway Mall in Seaview and stole tens of thousands of rands worth of goods.

Numerous jewellery shops at the Pearls Mall in Umhlanga, Cash Crusaders, in the Atrium, Watches Unlimited and MTN – both at Musgrave Centre – as well as NWJ at Westwood Mall were also reportedly robbed last month.

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In March, Mayuri Jewellers in Chatsworth Centre was hit and in January, three stores – including Natal Wholesale Jewellers (NWJ) in Musgrave Centre, Osiniq Jewels at the Hilton Hotel and Cajee at Gateway – were targeted.

In the wake of a string of brazen armed robberies, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry is expected to convene a multi-stakeholder meeting to address the issue of crime in the city’s commercial hubs.

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Chief executive of the chamber Dumile Cele says that the prevalence of this type of crime was of serious concern to the business community.

“It has highly negative effects on doing business in those areas,” Cele said, “Crime infested areas are a deterrent to consumers who naturally avoid shopping in areas where they do not feel safe,” Cele said.

 

 

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