Philippines news: Caps and sunglasses banned in Manila malls – Police in the Philippine capital of Manila have banned shoppers from wearing caps or sunglasses in shopping malls in order to stop criminals from concealing their identities from security cameras, say police officials.
The ban comes after a gang of robbers armed with hammers looted a jewellery store at a popular suburban Manila shopping mall on December 15.
The suspects reportedly used baseball caps to conceal their identities.
“These criminal elements know about the presence of (closed circuit TVs) in commercial establishments like malls. That’s why they are trying to hide their identity by wearing caps and even dark sunglasses,” said Carmelo Valmoria, chief Director of the National Capital Region Police Office.
He added, “Besides, why will you wear sunglasses inside (a) mall?”
“From now on, the wearing of caps would be banned in malls. Those wearing it would be advised to take it off and place or keep them inside their bags or in their pockets,” he said.
Valmoria also said mall owners would display signs against the wearing of caps at entrances, and security guards will strictly enforce the ban in a polite manner, adding that security guards would be on the lookout for those flouting the ban, according to reports.
The decision was made during a series of meetings with mall operators and security managers in the Metro Manila area, a city with a population of some 11 million.
The malls are currently packed with Christmas season shoppers, and the jewellery store robbery had panicked thousands of people, even drawing the attention of Philippine President Benigno Aquino.
In the jewellery store robbery, the robbers smashed the glass display cases with hammers and stole P5 million worth of jewelry, said reports.
The CCTV camera got clear shots of the robbers, but their faces were shielded by their caps, said Valmoria.
The robbery led to a ban on the purchase of hammers in shopping malls by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Valmoria said it was agreed in the meeting that the purchase of hammers would be permitted, but buyers would need to claim them at designated claim areas near the malls’ exits.