Security companies doing cash-in transit services in the Erongo region were told to beef up their skills, manpower and change their modus operandi, as their current way of doing business makes them easy targets to criminals.
Police and security companies on Thursday discussed how they could address robberies targeting security companies in the region.
This follows after a spike in cash-in-transit robberies, targeting security companies, took place in the region.
More than N$1 million has been stolen so far at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund by armed robbers.
Some of the suspects are still at large while small amounts of cash have been recovered so far.
According to detective John Mwatongwe, four armed robberies took place in Walvis Bay, four in Swakopmund, two in Usakos and one each in Henties Bay and Arandis.
Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the robberies.
“This has become a national concern now and we need to address it before it escalates. This is how they started in South Africa, where they now target ATMs as well. That is why we need to stop it now before it gets to that level,” Mwatongwe said.
Inspector Ileni Shapumba told the security companies to do proper background check before they employ security guards.
“We really need to do it thoroughly, as some of these guards could be criminals that were grabbing wigs in front of shops. Now we found them in uniforms. We must be careful and vigilant of who we employ,” Shapumba said.
He also pointed out that it is important for security companies to rotate their guards and use more guards when collecting money.
“Theses criminals have clearly been taking note of your operations; that is why they know exactly when and where you will be picking up cash. This needs to change. You need to rotate your guards as well as the way you are collecting the money from businesses,” he explained.
He also told the security companies that it does not make sense to have only two guards collecting the money.
Shapumba said the last robbery carried out on 26 September clearly indicates the guards were clearly outnumbered during the robbery in which least N$943 000 was stolen by five armed robbers.
“How do we make the environment unconducive for criminals? Let us tighten our security, as it is a concern to see one or two guards being targeted or overpowered by five armed robbers,” Shapumba said.