PLANS are afoot to increase security at shopping malls, the latest hunting ground of South Africa’s growing band of brazen thugs.
Malls will screen entrants, they will deploy private security “under cover” to keep an eye on things and they will increase the level of monitoring.
But while it may be possible for some major malls with the money to provide heavy security for their customers, most will remain vulnerable to armed criminals.
What is needed is proper policing that has the intelligence penetration to pre-empt the plans of these sorts of syndicates and the nous to arrest and prosecute those that are involved.
At the moment it seems that we have neither. The police appeared totally caught off guard by this new crime wave and, with one or two exceptions, have failed to make significant arrests.
In short, our police force remains hopelessly incapable of keeping up with the planning and execution of new criminal plans.
Now that the force finally has a commissioner in newly appointed Bheki Cele, it needs to be shaken out of its stupor.
What is needed is the introduction of properly trained and motivated intelligence which is directed at criminals rather than the political enemies of one or another power-broker.
Then we need specialist units that can focus attention on core crimes and nip them in the bud before they become a national plague.
What we don’t need are promises to arm police to the teeth and “fight fire with fire”. This kind of chauvinist bravado plays into criminals hands and endangers the lives of police officers, not to mention the public.
What criminals really fear is arrest and prosecution. It’s time the police force caught up the times.
Maybe the newly formed TwitterHawks have summin up their sleeve… wait.. that would be perfect! What if this is all their doing, and they’re simply going to swoooshtwitter in to save the day?
Have they done anything lately? Like, uhm, appoint more staff?