Durban - Security companies have urged business owners to be extra cautious as the festive season reaches its peak.
Some of the companies reported an upswing in break-ins and armed robberies over the past month.
Blue Security operations director Brian Jackson said in a statement that 19 incidents of house breaking and armed robbery had been reported at businesses across the city in suburbs from Westmead, Westville, Durban North and Morningside to the Berea, Clairwood and the Bluff over the past 10 days.
He said housebreaking incidents at business premises often occurred early in the morning before 7am when gangs forced open gates and doors to gain entry, while armed robbers tended to strike restaurants, shops and other businesses around opening and closing times.
Jackson advised business owners and managers to minimise the amount of cash kept on the premises, and to put up signs warning criminals that cash is not kept on site.
He advised restaurateurs and business owners to install CCTV cameras at the entrance to the premises and to lock any outside driveway gates and the doors 30 minutes before closing time to make it more difficult for robbers to pull up in their vehicles and stroll in.
“Criminals rely on the element of surprise and speedy access which business owners and managers can minimise by locking doors early and using discretion when allowing clients in during this time. Assign a staff member to monitor the entrance and the CCTV cameras when you prepare to cash up for the day,” Jackson said.
Marshall Security spokesperson Kyle van Reenen told The Mercury that they had responded to three such incidents since December started.
“We encourage business owners to let their security companies know when they plan on closing so that we can keep an eye on the premises.”
Wear and tear on security systems was a reality and regular maintenance and upgrades were a necessity, said Fidelity ADT’s KwaZulu-Natal district manager Ivan Govender in a recent statement.