Reducing mall crime in S.Africa - CNBC Africa

Reducing mall crime in S.Africa

Special Report

by Farhaanah Mahomed 0

The shopping mall cash recycling device is one of the latest technologies developed by SBV Services to reduce mall robberies. PHOTO: SBV

This is according to Grant Dunnington, chief executive officer of SBV Services, speaking at the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) Summit 2014.

SBV Services, a South African based company jointly owned by the country’s four major banks, Absa, FirstRand Bank, Standard Bank and Nedbank, offers services across the entire cash supply value chain.

He stated that at a large shopping centre such as Eastgate Mall, based in Johannesburg, an average of 43 cash-in-transit (CIT) vehicles and 120 armed guards would visit the mall on a daily basis.

(READ MORE: Anti-crime forum to combat S.Africa's spate of mall robberies)

Around 9.3 million rand in cash would move daily through the centre, of which 28 per cent belonged to tenants moving unprotected cash through the mall.

With these kinds of statistics, violent crime in malls was at a high putting many citizens in harm’s way.

However, with the adoption of the SMCR device by some large retailers such as Woolworths, Checkers, Edcon and Bidvest Bank, CIT vehicles and armed guards visiting Eastgate Mall on a daily basis were reduced to 21 and 52 respectively.

Cash moving through the centre decreased to 4.4 million rand per day, of which 19 per cent belonged to tenants moving unprotected cash through the mall.

(READ MORE: S.Africans must become active citizens in fight against crime)

“The SMCR concept has reduced violent crime by 47 per cent however our main objective is to get that figure to zero,” said Dunnington.

He explained that the idea is to setup secure cash centres at shopping centres. Retailers are then able to transport their cash through a pneumatic tube system using canisters or capsules.

“Each retailer has their own station where cash shoots through the tubes straight to the SBV cash centre.”

He added that a major difference using this system is that as soon as the retailer releases the capsule into the tube, the liability is immediately transferred to SBV Services who become solely responsible for processing their client’s cash safely.

Another major advantage is that stores can perform all banking duties via the system therefore eliminating the risk of theft.

“Store managers no longer need to walk to bank branches and overnight holdings are now reduced to zero in each store,” he said.

“There is also no CIT vehicles intimidation and this ultimately leads to a gun free shopping mall.”

For small business owners who don’t carry large amounts of cash, there is an alternative solution.

“SBV can also pick up money using a trolley that has advanced technology in it,” he said.

He explained that each customer is given a beacon. Once the trolley reaches their store, the beacon triggers the release of their capsule which is then placed securely into the trolley.

“If the trolley goes out of its allocated area perhaps because of theft, an alarm and smoke device is triggered. The trolley also has two tracking devices installed, which gives armed guards its exact location as well as a detonator,” explained Dunnington.

The SMCR device has already been established in a number of other malls across the country such as Cradlestone Mall, the Pavillion and Secunda Mall.

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