Cape police have asked banks to tighten up on security after an increase in the number of “bank followings” in the past six months.
But the banks had so far not been particularly co-operative, the commander of the police‘s provincial war room, Senior Superintendent Darius van der Ross, said yesterday.
Talking at a media briefing in Cape Town, he said the term “followings”So common it even has a name were used when criminals identified people withdrawing money and robbed them at gunpoint off the bank‘s premises. Say again..... OFF THE BANKS PREMISES??
A “spotter” would loiter inside the bank and contact his accomplices by cellphone when he saw a target. The vast majority of these crimes are from ATM withdrawals and not from inside the bank. “There‘s a steep, steep increase in this,” Van der Ross said. “It has become a very easy crime to get money quickly.” He said police met representatives of the top five banks at the end of January to discuss this issue and look at standardised policies on people entering banks and using cellphones in banks.
“There‘s no uniformity with regards to policy of usage of cellphones in banks,” he said. Banks had already banned cellphone use, but the ban was not always enforced. Police had also picked up from video footage that criminals entered banks wearing sunglasses and caps. Wearing Sunglasses and caps in sunny South Africa?? Shoot them I say!
“I think we should minimise this through standard policy in the banking world to make people aware that when you enter a bank the cap must be removed, the sunglasses must be removed,” he said. “If people are coming disguised into the bank, what is the use of cameras?” What is the use of you sitting in your war room miles away?
Banks had also been advised to “aggressively” look at appointing floor managers who would keep an eye on what was happening in the public areas of the banks. “Surely if a person is on the cellphone continuously the floor manager, or somebody in the bank, is supposed to pick it up?” So now the banks must employ even more security to do police work?
Asked how the banks had responded, he said: “They said they would definitely look into it.” He said the war room was monitoring how the banks reacted to the proposals made in the meeting by checking their closed-circuit video footage. So the cops just sit in the war room drinking cool aid while private security has to take responsibility for crimes committed miles from their institutions?
“Unfortunately I can safely say we are not helped in any way at this stage,” Van der Ross said. Wonder why? What have youdone in regards to police work?And here the tax payers were under the impression the police were responsible for police work
The war room, which draws together skills from a number of units in the police, was set up in May last year to focus on business and house robberies and car hijackings