North West police prevented a crowd of people from looting shops in Mahikeng on Monday morning, following a fire at a mall.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said they had received a call that the group wanted to loot after one of the shops at a complex went up in flames around 6am on Monday.
The fire has since spread to other business outlets nearby.
“So far, we have been informed that the fire started at one of the shops and has spread to neighbouring shops. A crowd of people who were nearby attempted to loot some shops close to the one that was burning.
“Our members reacted quickly and chased them away. At the moment, the fire has spread and we don’t know how many shops have been affected. We don’t know how many shops have been burnt and are monitoring the situation and will ensure that there is no crime taking place there until the fire has been extinguished,” said Mokgwabone.
The 2018/2019 National Crime Statistics show that looting or malicious damage to property increased by 1.4% (1,597) cases, from the previous year.