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Johannesburg - The business sector and the police have formed a partnership to combat business crime, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Wednesday.
“If you (business) do not seek advice and help us then you will be isolated and weak,” she told a Consumer Goods Council of SA (CGCSA) summit in Johannesburg.
“With you we feel strong and we look forward to holding hands and squeezing crime.”
She said the police and the CGCSA had formed partnerships and she met its CEO Gwarega Mangozhe in February and July. They had agreed on the need for structured engagements with industry associations and business.
Phiyega said shoplifting was categorised as a serious crime as it harmed the economy.
“Between five retailers - Shoprite, Pick n Pay, Massmart, Spar, and Woolworths - between R2 billion and R3bn is lost annually due to shoplifting,” said Phiyega.
“The police have recognised the need to investigate the real possibility of organised syndicates being behind a large majority of shoplifting incidents.”
She said it would be necessary to bring other government departments, businesses, and organisations on board to address shoplifting.
The summit heard that hijacking of trucks carrying goods, which increased by 14.9 percent during the 2012/13 financial year, was another area that needed co-operation between the police, the CGCSA, and the insurance industry.
“We are aware the primary interest is not so much the truck, it is the goods. These goods, we believe, often find their way to many shops across the country and some to the neighbouring countries,” said Phiyega.
“A new trend emerging, which we as management are not particularly proud of, is the involvement of some of our police officers. This is a huge concern for us and we are hard at work to root out these corrupt elements from within our midst.”
Phiyega assured the consumer goods industry that she was working on streamlining the police to introduce integrity and discipline while fighting crime. - Sapa