Hi-tech boost for SAPS

IN TOUCH: President Thabo Mbeki at the launch of the radio centre. © Sowetan.
IN TOUCH: President Thabo Mbeki at the launch of the radio centre. © Sowetan.

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

The days of slow and ineffective police responses towards tackling emergencies and sometimes not pitching up at crime scenes are over.

Speaking at the opening of the SAPS Radio Communication Centre in Midrand yesterday, President Thabo Mbeki said the opening of the sophisticated centre would usher a new era in crime fighting.

By dialling 10111, irrespective of where you are, call-centre operators will be able to dispatch police who are closer to the crime scene, thereby increasing police efficiency and response times.

Similar facilities will be launched in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape next year.

"As we launch this call centre, we usher in a new era in crime fighting across the nation. We vow to increase efforts towards addressing this challenge," said Mbeki.

He said the call centre was proof of the country's determination to "effectively uproot" crime from our society.

"Vehicle responses will now be much quicker as call centre agents will be able to dispatch cars to the scene of the crime more quickly," he said.

"Extra effort is needed to deal decisively with crime," he said.

National police spokesman Sally de Beer said the centre was designed to integrate six existing emergency centres into a single 10111 call centre.

"The new system will ensure effective control over police vehicles. Every vehicle and each policeman on duty will be in possession of a new digital radio which can be used as a normal two-way radio or as a cellphone," she said.