Caps, cops in uniform banned in Metro malls
MANILA, Philippines — Police in Metro Manila have banned the wearing of caps in shopping malls to stop criminals concealing their identity from security cameras.
Likewise, cops will also be prohibited from entering shopping malls to prevent crooks from passing themselves off as police officers to be able to carry firearms inside the mall premises.
The ban was imposed after a gang of hammer-wielding robbers looted a jewelry store at SM North Edsa on December 15. The suspects are believed to have used baseball caps to hide their identities.
“We already have a police assistance desk. So we are prohibiting police carrying firearms or wearing their uniform from entering malls,” National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Carmelo Valmoria on Monday said in an interview over Inquirer Radio 990AM.
Police officials for Manila and its suburbs met with shopping mall security officials last week, telling them to bar people wearing caps from entering as a security precaution, said Metro Manila police spokesman Chief Inspector Robert Domingo.
“We studied their strategies. If they want to commit a crime, they wear caps. That way, the (closed circuit) TV will not be able to photograph their faces,” he told AFP Monday.
He said mall security guards had been instructed to politely ask those wearing caps or any hats that may hide their faces, not to wear them inside.
Malls are packed during the Christmas season and the jewellery store robbery had panicked thousands of shoppers, drawing the attention even of President Benigno Aquino.
Authorities will observe the implementation of the rule in Metro Manila to see whether or not this will be an effective deterrent to crimes in addition to CCTV cameras.
Last Friday, four people, including Zamboanga del Sur Mayor Ukol Talumpa, were shot dead at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 by assassins wearing police uniform. With a report from Jamie Elona, INQUIRER.net
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