MANILA, Philippines – How do authorities propose to prevent another mall robbery by hammer-wielding suspects?
Two days after the so-called Martilyo Gang struck at a jewelry shop at SM City North EDSA mall, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said shopping centers can regulate the sale of hammers, crowbars, and similar objects.
“The proposal is, if you want to buy hammers, crowbars, or other similar objects, you get a claim stub. Claiming [will be done] outside mall premises,” he said at a press briefing on Tuesday, December 17.
The idea earned the ire of netizens, but Roxas clarified that it is only a proposal. The decision to implement them ultimately lies with mall owners and operators.
He said police and mall owners have agreed to review existing procedures in preventing and responding to crimes inside shopping centers. Their recommendations include, but aren’t limited to, disallowing the sale of hammers and crowbars inside shopping malls.
The proposals presented by Roxas, who was flanked by NCRPO Commander Director Carmelo Valmoria and PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima during the briefing, also include reviewing the way mall guards are trained.
The PNP also suggests that mall owners give breaks to security personnel manning the mall entrances, so they stay alert when on duty.
The PNP can also help security guards improve their skill sets – teach them, for example, how to profile and pinpoint suspicious characters inside malls.
Earlier, Roxas said the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) would meet with Metro Manila mall operators to create an information-sharing system and to review security procedures inside malls.
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Martilyo Gang reflex: Why not regulate hammer sale?