Social media and SMS hotline reports more complaints than compliments for South African police

The South African “Report a Cop, Reward a Cop” initiative has received more complaints than compliments regarding the South African Police Service (SAPS) through SMS and telephone calls in the Western Cape.

The Report a Cop, Reward a Cop hotline, launched by Dan Plato, Community Safety Member of the Executive Council (MEC), in the Western Cape in July, allows the public to report on the quality of service and corruption by the police through telephone calls, SMS, email and Twitter.

Greg Wagner, Plato’s spokesman, told IOL News that an average of 20 calls and SMSs were received per week and most of them were reporting bad police service. Apparently being told to “get out” of a police station and waiting more than four hours for the arrival of police were amongst the complaints received by the provincial government hotline.

Between November and December last year a total of 147 complaints were received ranging from unwillingness to assist to poor response time. Wagner said only “a handful” of compliments were received.

“One woman reported that she called SAPS to report a crime and was promised that a van would be dispatched, but it was not forthcoming. The complainant went four hours later to the station, where she was again told that a van would be sent,” said Wagner.

In the Western Cape, the highest number of complaints were made from Grassy Park. Delft and Elsies River were next on the list for the number of complaints received.

Wagner confirmed the Department of Community Safety collects the complaints and forwards them to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) or Lieutenant-General Arno Lamoer, the provincial police commissioner for investigation.

Misconduct by the police can be reported by SMSing the word “report” to 35395. A compliment can be be sent to the same number, but with the word “reward”. The public may also call the 24-hour hotline on 021 483 4332.

Tweets whether positive or negative should be directed to @RewardaCop and emails to [email protected]

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