The Shoprite Group has made 200 arrests in the first 11 months of this financial year, thanks to an in-house security team of investigators who are tightening the screws on criminal activity.
According to IOL, 54% of these crimes are currently in court, and are for armed robbery, while 26% are theft-related. The rest of the crimes include arson, assault, looting, burglary, and fraud.
Head of Group Security and Loss Prevention, Oswald Meiring, said the investigation team is made up of former police members and detectives, who possess mixed skills and experience in commercial crime, fraud, serious and violent crime, reports Business Tech.
“The command centre team makes extensive use of technology and software systems including electronic dockets, suspect photo albums and evidence files.
“A team of data and crime analysts do predictive analysis, identify suspects, and link suspects to each other and to the crime scene. This technology, including video footage and a chain of evidence, has been critical in court proceedings,” he said.
During the past 11 months, the investigation team has made 752 court appearances, including postponements, bail, testifying and sentencing, with a 64% increase in guilty verdicts, News24 writes.
Guilty parties received over 300 years in prison sentences and over 45 years of suspended sentences.
“We believe that securing arrests and sentences for crimes acts as a deterrent and ultimately reduces crime.
“We believe this is an important element of our contribution to make South Africa a safer environment for everyone,” Meiring said.
Meiring said the Shoprite Group encountered lockdown-related challenges, and unemployment led to more crime, while mask-wearing made it more difficult to identify suspects.