Residents on City’s emergency dial

SOYISO MALITI

The City has logged 1 518 calls from Kraaifontein, Brackenfell and Kuils River households to its 107 emergency number over the past year.

Of these emergency calls, 633 were from Kraaifontein, 682 from Brackenfell and 203 from Kuils River, according to mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith.

Kraaifontein residents also laid 465 by-law complaints, with the City logging 434 and 100 for Brackenfell and Kuils River, respectively.

Only 27 crime-related incidents were reported in all three areas, with 14 coming from Kraaifontein, eight from Brackenfell and just five from Kuils River.

There were 297 “miscellaneous” calls from all three communities. Brackenfell led traffic-related complaints with 101 calls made. Kraaifontein had 58 and Kuils River registered 36.

During this period, Metro police made 139 arrests for various crimes in Kraaifontein, four in Brackenfell and 64 in Kuils River.

Speaking at a workshop in Delft for the Blue Downs CPF cluster, which includes Kuils River, on Friday July 1, Mr Smith said Nyanga, dubbed the country’s murder capital, had only had one emergency call made to the City in the same period.

He added that the number of calls to 107 from the worst crime hot spots in the city had been disproportionately low and that areas with minimal crimes had many complaints.

Mr Smith said it had been difficult to make an assessment on the numbers as SAPS had not had access to the 10111 call log for the Kraaifontein, Brackenfell and Kuils River catchment.

Asked why the numbers had been so low, Mr Smith said it could either be that residents reported criminal activity directly to 10111 or their sector policing structures.

He said it is important to remember that SAPS is the primary agency responsible for crime prevention and should be the first port of call for the reporting of a crime.

He said the City is working to put in place measures that would ensure that the bulk of its policing staff focus on areas with the highest crime.

Asked why residents of an area like Nyanga had not warmed up to the idea of using the City’s crime line, he said: “It would be premature to believe that residents of Nyanga do not want to use the 107 public emergency contact centre to report emergencies without being able to look holistically at the level of overall crime reporting from the area.”

He said the City’s public emergency contact centre is busy conducting public awareness and education campaigns to promote the 107 number, which, unfortunately, is only free from a landline.

He said it is out of the council’s control that calls from cellphone numbers are charged at network rates.