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Report crime through the Crime Stop hotline

Written by Thabisile Dhlomo
 

Crime Stop hotline is a very successful community policing initiative that allows anonymous callers to report criminal activities to the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The number for the hotline is 08600 10111. Callers may remain anonymous and the centre does not have the mechanisms to trace calls or see the caller’s number. This is in line with international standards laid down by Crime Stoppers and helps create trust between the SAPS and the informer.

SAPS continues to use the information provided through Crime Stop to solve a number of criminal cases. Since its inception in 1992, the Crime Stop programme has assisted in solving over 100 000 criminal cases, recovered over R1 billion worth of stolen property and seized a number of narcotics.

What is Crime Stop?

Crime Stop is a community policing programme that is operated by the SAPS. The programme is responsible for collecting information from members of the public on criminals and their activities. Members of the public are assisted by call centre agents who are trained in investigative interviewing. The informer can then pass on information to the SAPS in a safe and non-threatening environment. Callers may remain anonymous if they wish to do so.

The difference between 10111 and 08600 10111 call centres

The 10111 toll-free number is used by victims to report a crime or when police assistance is needed in an emergency situation. These centres are dependent on caller identification information technology and use advanced recording technology to locate where the victim is in order to send emergency assistance.

On the other hand, informers can call a share-call 08600 10111 number to anonymously provide mostly reactive information on criminals and their activities. Crime Stop is based on the understanding that ‘someone other than the criminal has information that can solve a crime’. The information received is channeled to detectives who then investigate the crime.

What can informers expect when calling Crime Stop on 08600 10111?

When informers call Crime Stop, they can expect to be taken through the following procedure:

  • The call centre agent will guide the caller through a set of questions to get as much information as possible from the caller.
  • The call centre agent then allocates a unique code number to the informer. If the information is not helpful, the informer will be guided to obtain more information or will be informed why the information cannot be used. Usable information is linked to the code number allocated to the informer.
  • The informer is then requested to call the Crime Stop hotline again, within a specified time, to establish whether the information was positive or whether he/she qualifies for a reward, if the informer indicates that he/she wants a reward.
  • The only way a call centre agent will discuss a case with an informer in the future, is if the code number provided by the informer is correct and the caller correlates with the caller profile on record.
  • The call centre agent will immediately terminate the call if he/she is not satisfied that the informer is the same person who made the initial call. This is a protective measure to ensure the security of crime investigations.
  • Crime Stop sends the information received to the relevant investigation unit to follow up on the information. The call centre agent then requests the investigation unit to provide initial feedback within 24 hours and the outcome of the investigation as soon as possible.
  • If the informer qualifies for and requests a reward, the investigating officer is responsible for determining a reward and for processing the claim in accordance with National Instruction 2 of 2001. When the reward is ready, Crime Stop will co-ordinate with the informer how and where the reward will be paid out.

Extended services provided by Crime Stop

Crime Stop was recently upgraded and can also link the informers directly with investigators by means of conference calling. This enables the investigating officer to interview the informer directly (only with the permission of the informer).

Crime Stop can also make outbound calls daily to selected high-crime areas. The purpose of these calls is to briefly explain the services of Crime Stop, with an invitation to use the service in future. There has been a good response to this initiative, with helpful information being obtained.

The Crime Stop number is advertised on all newly marked police vehicles to create greater public awareness and to remind members of the public to report criminals and their activities anonymously to Crime Stop.