News / South Africa / Crime

Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
3 Oct 2021
11:01 am

CIT robbery season: Level 1 lockdown paving way for criminals

Citizen Reporter

Researchers warn the CIT heist season is fast approaching.

Cash-in-transit workers march from Braamfontein to Beyers. Photo: Gallo Images/Sowetan/Masi Losi

Experts say the CIT robbery season is fast approaching, especially now that lockdown restrictions have eased and the festive season is around the corner.

With less than three months to Christmas, South Africans can expect another spike in CIT (Cash-in-transit) robberies. Here’s why.

CIT robbery season loading

Fewer robberies during level 5

Speaking to eNCA on Sunday, Annie Kok from UCT’s Centre of Criminology said CIT robberies spiked during 2019, but declined during April and May 2020 when level five lockdown was implemented.

This was due to curfew, restrictions on citizens gathering in public spaces, as well as increased police visibility.

Once lockdown levels eased and South African moved to Level three in August, CIT robberies skyrocketed once more.

ALSO READ: Traffic cop foils suspected CIT heist in the nick of time 

Spike in robberies during level 3 lockdown

The first and second quarter varies widely from 2020’s third and fourth quarter, Kok says.

During the second quarter of 2020, the number of robberies and CIT-related incidents decreased by nearly 50% when compared to 2019.

However, Kok adds: “As lockdown eased, both the third and fourth quarter of last year increased by more than 50% when compared to the previous year”.

How to curb CIT season?

Kok said it requires a delicate balance between sophisticated intelligence, as well as the “expertise to turn knowledge and information into actional strategies”.

In addition, she says coordination across all stakeholders and parties is vital. In this regard, Fidelity Services CEO Group Wahl Bartmann said all parties involve now share resources and information.

“There’s an organisation set up, we’re all getting together to share resources, intelligence, etc. And we are quite involved with the police to prevent [CIT robberies].”

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