Business robberies in the Table View and Parklands areas have more than doubled when comparing this year to the same period last year, according to Table View police.
Captain Adriana Chandler, Table View SAPS spokeswoman, said robberies at spaza shops and other smaller shops in the precinct are on the rise.
She said station commander, Colonel Junaid Alcock, has instructed for there to be an increase in SAPS patrols during the closing time of these shops.
“A total of seven business robbery cases were reported for the current period of 2023. For the same period last year 2022, a total of three cases were reported. This shows an increase of four cases when compared to the same period last year. There was one suspect arrested recently related to a business robbery. Most of the business robberies are committed in the Parklands area,” she said.
The news of this increase has gotten residents in Parklands worried about their safety. Some have pointed out that the constant power outages during the evening in winter could have played a role.
Peter Campbell is one of those Parklands residents who believes this theory.
“Load shedding hits us sometimes here around 6pm to about 8pm. It gets very dark around that time. It also gets bitterly cold so there are less people outside and criminals know there will be less witnesses. I’m only speculating but this could be something worth looking into. I feel for these shop owners though, because this is their way of living and of course they wouldn’t want to have to close their place of business earlier and lose out on money,” said Mr Campbell.
Laura Outhet, Table View Neighbourhood Watch spokeswoman, said that they are also aware of the recent increase and volunteers are patrolling as often as they can.
“If we do hear of any robberies occurring, we understand that as ordinary citizens we are eyes and ears only and hang back on the outskirts of the area. Thus far the robberies have not been influenced by load shedding or winter, this is not a factor. We urge all business owners in the area to chat to their armed response companies regarding business safety. Business owners should have a plan in place should a robbery occur. Employees should be well prepared by way of safety drills and procedures and owners should implement business security measures,” she said.
Ms Outhet said business owners should take other precautions like avoiding large sums of money being held on site and physical security measures should be installed inside and outside of the establishment.
Tabletalk approached a few spaza shops along Parklands Main Road. Only one said he would speak provided the paper kept his identity and that of his shop, anonymous. The shop owner said that while he had not been a victim of a robbery, he was afraid everyday that he could become a target.
“Every night I think about whether I should just close my shop early before it gets too dark. I know money isn’t everything but it means a lot when you have to keep sending money home in another country. My parents, wife and children need this money. But risking our lives (potentially) is what we have to think of. Thankfully, we see the neighbourhood watches, armed response patrolling. It makes us feel a bit better,” he said.