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Increase in Bomb Threats

2015 has not been a good year when it comes to public safety with an increase of bomb threats forcing malls and government buildings to evacuate. The potential for serious injury and damage makes even an empty threat a very serious act, even though most bomb threats may turn out to be hoaxes, each threat must be taken seriously and acted upon immediately. Evacuation causes major disruption, which in many cases may be the desired outcome from the offenders.

There are many supposed motives for bomb threats, such as humor, manipulation, self assertion, anger, omnipotence, aggression, hate and devaluation, fantasy, psychotic distortion, ideology, retaliation and many more. Bomb threats are usually delivered by telephone, letter, face-to-face, email, on a website, or even a gesture.

Every building and facility should have a checklist of questions and observations in place for receiving a bomb threat and contacting authorities, a plan for searching the building, a designated route to evacuate people and a procedure for searching evacuation routes and the holding area.

There are no national statistics on bomb threats as such, but with the latest bomb threat taking place at The Grove Mall recently, we’ve put together a list of bomb threats in 2015.

The Grove Mall, Pretoria
November 2015

Village Square Mall, Randfontein
October 2015

Sandton City, Johannesburg
October 2015

ANC Headquarters, Luthuli House
August 2015

High Court, Pretoria
August 2015

Boulders Mall, Midrand
August 2015

Bank City, Johannesburg
August 2015

Cresta Mall, Johannesburg
August 2015

Eastgate Mall, Johannesburg
August 2015

The Grove Mall, Pretoria
July 2015

House of Advocate Gerrie Nel, Pretoria
April 2015

Clearwater Mall, Roodepoort
March 2015

Menlyn Mall, Pretoria
March 2015

Faerie Glen Pick n Pay, Pretoria
March 2015