With South Africa’s high crime rates, it is a little unnerving that a telephone call to your local police station has more than a one-in-four chance of not being connected.
In a recent survey conducted by the Sunday Times, twenty-eight percent of calls made to 1 150 South African police stations, numbers that are listed on the Police Service website, either were unanswered, went to the incorrect number or simply failed in some way.
Survey Key Findings:
• In total, 28% or 327 phone calls went unanswered.
• Of these calls, 178 calls rang off the hook; 73 had a connection failure; 55 calls were the wrong number and 18 calls gave a recorded “subscriber not available” message.
• The Western Cape proved to be the best province with an 87% answer rate. Only 20 out of 150 stations resulted in call failures.
• Limpopo had a 74% answer rate, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 73% and the Eastern Cape and Gauteng with 71% each.
• The worst answer rate was the North West, 43% of calls failed. Followed by Mpumalanga with 38% failure rate and both the Northern Cape and Free State with 31% each.
The emergency number 1 0111, goes through a regional call centre. Emergency calls are logged, recorded and a reference number is issued. In May 2013, allegations against the Durban regional centre that the centre failed to log and record calls for 6 months due to faulty equipment. SAPS disputed the allegation, saying that the “equipment had been faulty for only three months”.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale responded, “We have since rectified it and will ensure that we verify all the other numbers.” He said the number 1 0111 could be used and calling 0860 010 111 for passing any information on criminal activity.
For more information visit http://www.saps.gov.za