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'Mall robberies is a result of a troubled CIU'

The ISS has warned a spate in business robberies is a symptom of trouble within the Crime Intelligence Unit.

Several shopping malls have been targeted by thieves recently, with the Maponya Mall in Soweto hit on Monday 1 September 2014. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has warned that the rise in violent business robberies, particularly at shopping malls, is a symptom of a troubled police Crime Intelligence Unit.

Several shopping centres have been targeted recently, with the Maponya Mall in Soweto and the Northgate Mall hit on Monday while the Kolonnade Retail Park in Pretoria was targeted on Tuesday.

Last week thieves made off with equipment valued at hundreds of thousands of rands after robbing the iStore at the Centurion Mall.

The institute's Johan Burger says business robberies have been on the rise for the last three years.

Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA)'s chief executive Simi Pillay-van Graan says they are trying to roll-out a number plate recognition system that would alert the police to a stolen vehicle as it enters a business's premises.

"The more cameras that we have out there, the bigger eyes we have over the country. This is also a priority of the minister of police."

National police detectives have been assigned to assist their Gauteng colleagues investigate the recent robberies.