“Arrests are very important but I think the sharing of information intelligence amongst role players – internally amongst the banks themselves, amongst the banking industry and the criminal justice system, the cash-in-transit companies – has played a major role,” Sabric’s general manager for violent crimes Kevin Twiname told CNBC Africa on Monday.
The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric), which aims to assist banking and cash-in-transit industries in combating organised crime, has praised the police for a decrease in cash-in-transit heists in the past financial year.
Cash-in-transit robberies have dropped by 20.3 per cent and bank robberies have dropped by 80 per cent in the past year.
“We’ve had very good cooperation with the banks firstly. That has been key in being able to develop the intelligence that we’re talking about, and then obviously the sharing of information,” Twiname indicated.
“As a matter of interest, we recently had a very successful prosecution on a well-known bank robber, which I think has certainly contributed to the deterrent effect in bank robberies.”
Twiname also explained that creating awareness amongst the general public is one of Sabric’s key focus areas.
“Probably in a month, we’ll be embarking on an awareness campaign relating to robberies, which I think have contributed to the increase in the crime stats. Those are things that we embark on in terms of creating public awareness,” he said.
While robberies at non-residential premises’ have dropped by 0.6 per cent, Twiname encouraged the public to seek to minimise opportunities for becoming victims of crime.
“Personal identity is a very important one – make sure that you don’t provide people with your personal identity. Carrying cash is something that we’re very concerned about because of the amounts that are being carried by the general public. Rather look at the alternatives to carrying large sums of cash.”