Video surveillance footage has been shared on social media platforms following a spate of recent armed jewellery store robberies in Durban.
This has brought real cause for concern especially as the festive season approaches and KwaZulu-Natal’s district manager for Fidelity ADT, Vaughan Pillay, advises residents to take note and to be vigilant. “The festive season has historically shown an increase in crime, especially in the weeks building up to Christmas Day. This year has shown early signs of this trend after two videos recently surfaced of jewellery stores being robbed at well-known shopping malls in Durban,” he said.
The robberies took place during the day with staff members held up at gunpoint whilst criminals ransacked through the stores taking as much merchandise as possible before leaving with bags of highly valued goods and leaving the staff members traumatised from the ordeal.
“As hard as it is to comprehend such acts we need to move forward by being as proactive as possible by taking the necessary safety precautions. Businesses need to enhance their safety measures, make use of the latest security technologies and work closely with the mall security. There should be a clear line of communication between all relevant parties and all stores should preferably be backed up by armed response in case of an emergency,” says Pillay.
He added that residents should remain extra vigilant and take note of the following safety tips:
- Always be aware of your surroundings when shopping at a busy mall or centre and look out for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary
- Make sure that you are not being followed after drawing money or returning to your vehicle
- Ensure that your vehicle is locked and secured when parked at a shopping mall
- Never accept help from strangers when drawing money or unloading your shopping items
- Anything suspicious should be reported to security immediately
- If you come across a robbery remain calm and remove yourself from the situation if possible. If you are not able to, follow the instructions of the perpetrators and never fight back unless it is a life threatening situation
- Never leave your children unattended when in a shopping centre
“These safety tips should become habitual and shared with family members, especially children. It is unfortunate but nevertheless critical that Durban residents take a proactive approach in dealing with crime and the possible dangers that may unfold when shopping,” he concluded.