Police concerned over a spike of robberies

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File image of a filling station after it was robbed.

Bethlehem Police are concerned about the recurring robberies in the area. According to police, the robberies occur despite a general decline in crime.

Spokesperson Zweli Mohobeleli highlighted that the crime decline has seen the cluster been awarded for first position in the province and two in the country for its efficiency in fighting crime.

Police believe the robberies are not occurring due to a lack of police commitment.

“All cases relating to these incidents have been assigned to a team of detectives specialising in organised crime. Moreover, we have immediately made adjustments to our deployments and operations to curb future occurrences. The changes, which also set the tone for a string of Back to Basics Festive Season operations, are already bearing positive results. We are not intimidated. Law and order will prevail as we increase visibility around the streets, shopping centres, malls, and all roads.”

Mohobeleli further stressed that residents should expect to see an increase of police visibility around the area.

“You will be stopped, educated about crime, searched, asked to produce documents, and ordered to blow. If needs be, you will surely be arrested. Those who come to Bethlehem looking to score easy money through crime will find us on the doorstep, waiting. We want to assure all residents and the business community of their safety,” he added.

Mohobeleli urged business people to heed the following tips to prevent or minimise the impact of robberies:

  • Develop a cash control program by not keeping unnecessary amounts of money in the till.
  • Control access to the building.
  • Take special precautions during opening and closing.
  • Do not resist.
  • Give the robbers time to leave.
  • Do not chase or follow robbers.
  • Phone the police immediately after the robbery.
  • Protect the crime scene.
  • Discontinue business and lock the facility.
  • Write down the description of the robber immediately.

Statement Issued by the SAPS Bethlehem Communication, Marketing and Liaison Service, Free State