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Safer festive season as crime fighting initiative extends to eight provinces

30/11/2021 | By Admin

Business Leadership South Africa and its subdivision, Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA), has announced the national roll out of the Eyes and Ears (E2) initiative to eight of the country’s provinces as efforts to combat increased crime during the festive season intensify.

The E2 initiative was launched in 2018 after a successful pilot in Gauteng and now has rolled out to eight provinces owing to its success in helping to curb crime and assisting the SAPS to bring suspects to book. The initiative is a collaboration between the SAPS and participating private security companies where operational crime-fighting efforts are coordinated collectively.

It enhances the SAPS’ situational awareness by utilising the large geographical footprint of private security companies through their number plate recognition systems, security officers, patrol and escort vehicles, tactical vehicles and air support that is in constant contact with its control centres.

“The E2 initiative has had a colossal impact in fighting crime since its inception,” says Fouchè Burgers, BACSA national project manager. “In the past year that we’ve gradually expanded into other provinces, the E2 initiative has reported 58 383 incidents, varying from business and home burglaries, armed robberies, violent crimes to stolen cars and fraud. This has led to 293 suspects reported as handed over and a total of 829 vehicles either recovered or impounded for being used during criminal activities.”

South Africa experiences a sharp increase in crime during the festive season. This is attributed to the remarkable increase of cash volumes which leads to armed robberies, burglaries and CIT heists. Alcohol abuse and consumption of recreational drugs also contribute to the spate of violent crimes during this season.

“With our footprint now expanded to most of the country as we enter the festive season, the E2 initiative is even more determined to ensuring that South African businesses and communities are safer and protected,” adds Fouchè. “With this in mind, we can never have enough eyes and ears on the ground, and call on businesses and citizens to report criminal activity to the SAPS so that imminent crimes can be foiled and criminals can be arrested for crimes committed.”

Through the E2 initiative, private companies relay critical crime-fighting information to the SAPS Provincial Operational Command Centres (POCCs) where E2 personnel are stationed. Other sources of information are also utilised including automatic number plate recognition, cameras, CCTV networks, WhatsApp and Telegram groups, and all social media platforms. This enables E2 to give the SAPS an edge over criminals by extending more Eyes and Ears on the ground, thereby allowing for criminal activities to be attended to or circumvented quicker.

According to Fouchè, more private security companies are encouraged and welcome to be a part of E2 which will add further muscle to the crime-fighting initiative. Private security companies that would like to join the E2 Initiative can get more information and apply at https://e2.bac.org.za/ or send an email to eyesandears@businessleadership.org.za for more information.

“We urge businesses and citizens to be vigilant and more aware of their surroundings at this stage of the year so that they are able to react to life-threatening situations,” elaborates Fouchè. “While the fight against crime requires support from South Africans and businesses, it is important to emphasise that citizens should never put themselves in dangerous situations and rather report criminal activity to law enforcement for appropriate and safe actions to be taken,” he concludes.