Cape Town police beef up mall security

Police say they are working with mall management to curb the problem.

FILE: Armed robbers hit Canal Walk Shopping Centre twice last week. Picture: Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape police management says more officers will be deployed in and around Cape Town's shopping malls as the festive season approaches.

There has been a spate of mall robberies in the mother city in recent months.

Armed robbers hit Canal Walk Shopping Centre twice last week.

Western Cape deputy police commissioner Sharon Jephta says police officials are working with mall management to access security at recently targeted shopping centres.

She says in most cases criminals pose as customers.

"They do not make a scene when they leave. They walk out as if they are normal customers, as if they just bought something. They are using similar bags to carry the cellphones."

Jephta says police are investigating whether the robberies are linked but at this stage she doesn't believe a syndicate is responsible.

Meanwhile, Business Against Crime says stores in malls also need to ensure their security is up to scratch.

Business Against Crime's Andrew Anthony says a co-ordinated approach to addressing crime at malls is crucial.

"We also engage with the malls to upgrade the CCTV footage. We know it's vitally important that robbers can be identified to assist police."

In Gauteng police have also pledged to beef up security at mall across the province following a spate of robberies at several centres.

Most of the stores targeted have been cellphone stores.