Police: Criminals desperate to cash in over festive season

Bheki Cele said the police needed to do more to clamp down on the crime, which sometimes claimed the lives of bystanders and community members.

Home invasions have increased by 8.5%. Picture: pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The police on Friday said as the country approached the festive season, criminals were desperate to cash in as they make up for lost time during the first quarter of the year when a hard lockdown was implemented.

Addressing reporters in Pretoria, Police Minister Bheki Cele said this could be seen in the uptake in some of the country’s most feared crimes such as residential robberies - with home invasions increasing by 8.5%.

He also raised alarm about cash-in-transit heists.

Between July and September, the police recorded 24 more cash-in-transit heist cases as compared to the previous quarter.

Cele said the police needed to do more to clamp down on the crime, which sometimes claimed the lives of bystanders and community members.

“There have been breakthroughs in taking down some of these criminal syndicates, as well as recouping some of the stolen money.”

Despite this, the minister is confident that progress is being made as members of the tactical response team and other agencies closed in on a gang of CIT robbers in Ekurhuleni in September.

he also commended the hawks for nabbing several suspected robbers and masterminds of the commercial crime in Johannesburg recently.

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