Two members of the SANDF walk through a mall. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
Two members of the SANDF walk through a mall. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Coronavirus: Banking on law enforcers to curb crime

By Sakhile Ndlazi Time of article published Mar 26, 2020

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Pretoria - It is hoped that the presence of the SAPS and SANDF during the national lockdown will help reduce crime in the country.

Head of justice and violence prevention at the Institute for Security Studies, Gareth Newham, said: “The most heavily affected countries do not share many of the characteristics of South Africa.

“We would thus be hesitant to make predictions based on those experiences. However, we will be closely monitoring the situation over the period to assess how Covid-19 and the lockdown impact on the public safety situation,” he said.

Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said there were two cash-in-transit robberies, as well as a number of business robberies in what he called “last-minute panic shopping” by criminals.

He said the increased police and SANDF presence would hopefully bring down the levels of crime. “But criminals will always try their luck. My appeal to all homeowners and essential businesses who are going to be open is to remain vigilant. Do not let your guard down. Unemployment will contribute to crime. This is a worry,” he said.

And while the lockdown was crucial and welcomed by most, criminals were using the pandemic scare to try to rob people of their money by pretending to be from the SA Revenue Service.

Susan Potgieter, acting SA Banking Risk Information Centre chief executive, said cybercriminals were also using SMS phishing.

She said they enticed people to click on a link disguised as information on a coronavirus outbreak in their area, then steal their credentials.

“Although some spoof emails can be difficult to identify, we urge all bank clients to think twice before clicking on any link, even if an email looks legitimate,” she said.

Pretoria News

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