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Cops' cash-heist figure 'rubbish'

25 October 2017 - 06:41 By Jeff Wicks
Police investigate the scene after a heist in East London. File photo.
Police investigate the scene after a heist in East London. File photo.
Image: Mark Andrews

The police appear to have under-reported the number of cash-in-transit heists, according to the SA Banking Risk Information Centre.

According to a Sabric report - leaked exclusively to The Times in the wake of the release by the police of the annual crime statistics - there were 283 cash-in-transit heists between April 2016 and March.

But police stats for the same period record only 152.

Using the Sabric figures, cash-in-transit heists surged from 254 in the 2015-2016 accounting year to 283 a year later.

Sabric did not respond to requests for comment.

A source in the banking security sector, who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity, said that heist gangs operated with impunity.

"The problem is that these men realise that they can blow up the vans and kill guards and not get caught.

"If they are arrested, the chance of being convicted is so low.

"The numbers are up like crazy. Sometimes we will have two or three big heists a day. The police say a 10.9 percentage point rise, but that is bullshit; the rise is closer to 30%," he said.

According to the restricted report, released in August, 16 people have been killed in heists this year alone - among them seven security guards, two policemen, a bystander and six gunmen.

NOTE: This story was edited on Friday October 27 to correct the figure in the SABRIC report from 409 cases (which we originally published) to 283 cases. This followed a complaint from SABRIC. However, this new figure is still substantially higher than the SAPS figure as per the crime stats, so the substance of the story remains valid.

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