The forum consists of the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC), the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA), Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA), the South African Police Service (SAPS), retailers and shopping centre owners/managers.
“The importance given to the issue by Gauteng SAPS senior leadership and industry stakeholders is a step to the right direction. When it comes to stemming and preventing crime, we are all accountable and we’re all responsible,” said SACSC chief executive, Amanda Stops.
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“It’s about working together and creating a relationship that is there in good and bad. We all have the responsibility of fostering relations and sharing information to prevent crime and provide a safe shopping environment for consumers.”
The forum, which was established at the conclusion of a meeting between these organisations, the leadership of the Gauteng SAPS, and over 230 representatives of shopping centres, security companies and retailers, aims to share intelligence to create solutions to this problem.
The meeting also enabled an exchange of views and suggestions of aspects which could enhance the mutual cooperation between the SAPS and business.
Graham Wright, head of the CGCSA Crime Risk Initiative said, “The aim of the forum would be to share all information on shopping centre related crime, no matter how big or small, and to use this as an input to improving prevention and combating responses to the ongoing wave of crimes against the retail industry.”
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“This forum will also serve as a provincial coordinating and communications platform between the Police and all of the business stakeholders, with a view to enhancing the alignment and impact of actions undertaken by the various parties,” he added.
According to Wright, this capability will essentially re-energise the Shopping Centre Security Initiative – a partnership between the SACSC, CGCSA and BACSA – which will be expanded to involve all other relevant role players.