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Crime evolves: Phiyega

Published on 2012-09-18

It is important for us as a country to recognise there is much, much more that needs to be done -- crime evolves," she said. "It is getting sophisticated day-by-day, and therefore we cannot use only old approaches to deal with new emerging crimes." Phiyega was speaking at a news briefing by the Gauteng police and the SA Banking Risk Information Centre (Sabric) in Midrand on banking crimes. Sabric said people making large withdrawals or on their way to make large deposits had often fallen victim to organised crime. Phiyega lauded the collaboration between police and the banking sector and said it was important for the role-players to work with police. She said it was important to raise awareness on banking crimes and to educate people to prevent crime from happening. "We, as the police, are committed through our various platforms to spread the information, to spread the knowledge." Phiyega said it was important to inform people about the various safer banking methods that could be used. Sabric CEO Kalyani Pillay said millions of rands had been lost as a result of banking crimes. She said organised crime syndicates were usually behind this type of crime. "Crime displaces all the time. You find that if you close the gap in one area it becomes too hot and the syndicates and members of the syndicates start to operate in different parts of the province," said Pillay. Gauteng police commissioner Lt-Gen Mzwandile Petros said one of the problems was that criminals were diversifying criminal activities across the country. "Arrests that we have made -- when you profile the people, many of them are coming from Gauteng," he said. Petros said that provincial police departments were meeting monthly to decrease the "space for criminal activity". "We are dealing with organised crime, we are arresting them and putting criminals behind bars and we have to ensure that there is prosecution." Sabric said 717 such robberies had been reported between January and August, compared to 793 in the same period last year. These figures were people who went back to the banks to report the crime. Petros said it was difficult to release figures, from the police side, as they categorised crime differently. Gauteng had seen a 38 percent decrease in these crimes. Sapa