Police Raise Concern about Looting of Shops and cases of Arson
The North West police would like to warn the community about the tendency of looting from shops under the pretext of service delivery protest and marches.
The looting mostly targets shops owned by foreign nationals. While the South African constitution allows marches, protests and picketing, that must always be done within the framework of the law. Those who are participating in those activities are expected to conduct themselves in a professional, acceptable and responsible manner that will not infringe on the rights of others.
It is apparent that these people participate in these activities for the purpose of breaking and stealing from those businesses. There is no doubt that these are clear criminal activities and police will not hesitate to deal with those who are found to be responsible for that. Criminal cases will be registered and people who are found to be looting from the shops will face the full might of the law.
This unacceptable behaviour and incidents take place despite intervention of responsible officials, including addressing of protest participants. The community is advised to follow the correct procedure to raise their concerns when not satisfied with any matter pertaining to service delivery protests.
Meanwhile, the Province is currently experiencing escalating cases of Arson since the beginning of winter season.
It is apparent some of these cases occur as a result of negligence by individuals, be it children or adults due to failure to take proper care when heaters, paraffin stoves and braziers are used. It is unfortunate that these cases result in deaths as well as severe and costly damages to properties such as houses, clothes, furniture and many others. These cases are often reported to Police Stations for investigations while others are reported for insurance claims purposes.
The community is therefore advised to take precautionary measures and apply the following safety hints:
- Not to leave the young and children unattended around fire.
- Not to use stoves unattended when under the influence of liquor.
- Do not throw cigarettes butts on the floor.
- Not to use magazine papers and boxes as it adds up when the fire starts.