However, we do have The South African Council of Shopping Centres, the Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA) and SAPS on our side ready to fight the war on crime of our seasonal shopping.
More police visibility
Consumers need not worry this season as CGCSA’s head of consumer goods crime risk initiative, Graham Wright, ensured that there would be more police visibility in and around malls across the country.
According to Wright, there are vast amounts of people buying goods at malls this time of the year and the annual programme is to ensure consumers safety. Due to the high demand of products, services and more foot traffic, the programme will focus on combating crimes such as robberies, burglaries and shoplifting.
Consumers are urged to stay alert
The onus is on consumers to be alert while shopping or taking their goods to their vehicles. Fortunately speedgates are part of the measures used by shopping malls to combat theft, but vigilance on the part of the part of the consumer can also go a long way.
Tyger Valley Shopping Centre spokesperson Lareta Blom gave a few important tips on being safe and vigilant:
- Check where security staff members patrol in case you may needed them in a hurry.
- Keep a close eye on your kids when you arrive at the mall. Point out the security staff and tell them to ask only these people for help if they lose you. Make sure they know your cellphone number so that security can call you
- Check that your car is locked before walking off and try the door handle to ensure that it is properly locked.
- Take parcels back to the car regularly and put them in the boot. Don’t leave anything visible inside the car as it might lead to a smash-and-grab.
- Keep your handbag in front of you and shop with a zipped up sling bag. Pickpocketers thrive in crowded areas.
- Be careful using Wi-Fi in public places as some hot spots does not encrypt wireless data and this could lead to identity theft.
There is no telling what could happen while at the mall, staying vigilant at all times is the best method of preventing possible theft from occurring. Also, try not to remain for hours on end at the mall, if you can. It’s best to not roam too long in a possible hot spot theft.