When you report a crime to the South African Police (SAPS), they take every action to make sure that your case gets attention as quickly as possible.
When you have been a victim or a witness of a crime, you can report it by telephone, in person at a Community Service Centre at a police station, or to members of the police patrolling in the community.
An offence can be reported at any police station. The police official will open a docket and transfer it to the police station that handles cases in the area where the offence was committed. You will be told when the docket has been transferred.
Making a Statement
You will first be interviewed by a police official so that he or she can determine the crime committed. A statement will then be taken from you.
A statement can be made in any language. If none of the police officials at the Community Service Centre speaks your language, an interpreter will be appointed to translate your statement.
The statement is made under oath and you have to give:
your ID number
your full residential address
your postal address
your contact details
full description of the crime scene (address)
day, time and date of the incident
full details of the nature of the incident
description of the person who committed the crime
full description of property (in case of theft, robbery etc), injuries (assault etc)
full particulars of possible witnesses.
After making a statement, you will be asked to read it. If you cannot read, the police official will read it for you. You are allowed to add or leave out any information.
You will be asked to sign the statement after you’ve accepted that you understand everything in it. If you cannot read or write, you will be asked to put your thumb print on the statement instead of a signature.
Case Registration & Investigation
The police official will register the reported crime on the Crime Administration System or in the Crime Register. You will be given a reference number, which must be used if you want to know anything regarding the case. The completed case docket is then given to an investigation officer who will do the investigation. All enquiries can be directed to him or her and he or she will notify you when you have to attend the court hearing.
- South African Police Service
If you are a victim of crime, you are entitled to know who the investigating official is in your case and to receive continuous feedback on your case.