AFP

MANILA-Police in the Philippine capital have banned the wearing of caps and sunglasses in shopping malls to stop criminals concealing their identity from security cameras.

The ban was imposed after a gang of hammer-wielding robbers looted a jewellery store at a popular suburban Manila shopping mall on December 15. The suspects are believed to have used baseball caps to hide 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, head of police forces in the capital which is home to 11 million people.

“Besides, why will you wear sunglasses inside (a) mall?”

He said those wearing caps and sunglasses will not be allowed into malls and security guards will be on the lookout for those flouting the ban.

Police have proposed similar precautions for banks and pawn shops.

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.