The South African Police Service (SAPS) in conjunction with Vodacom have launched a new crime-fighting application (app). The app was introduced to Isipingo residents in KwaZulu-Natal last week.
This new development could help with South Africa’s high crime rates if it is used correctly. One challenge with the app is whether the police will react to reports quick enough and efficiently.
Details on the SAPS and Vodacom crime-fighting app
@SAPoliceService Min. General Bheki Cele addressing the crowd at official launch of #MySAPSApp and the #SaferFestiveSeason campaign.
From 2am this morning, the Min. visited 7 of the rife crime areas within the Durban townships. #sapsHQ #VodacomBusiness #CrimeStop
According to the SAPS, the app was developed a few years ago. It is available for android cellphones and iPhones, and was tested earlier this year.
SAPS National Spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo revealed the app could be found by Googling ‘My SAPS.’ When the app is found it can then be downloaded on the user’s phone.
The user will then be required to register on the platform and create a profile. When registration is complete users will be able to view a directory of police stations along with nearby social service facilities.
However, the only catch was that app users were required to have data.
The uses of the SAPS and Vodacom app
The South African Police Services will launch the MySAPS mobile app today, a digital tool developed and enabled by Vodacom to support and improve national police efforts. #MySAPSApp #VodacomBusiness #MoreTogether
Naidoo also stated:
“The app will provide an opportunity for people to give tip-offs, they can access our social media accounts, go into Crime Stop and provide information on crimes that happened or about to happen.”Brigadier Vish Naidoo, SAPS National spokesperson
Using the tip-off facility on the app or via USSD
Download the #MySAPSApp now to help SA Police help citizens turn the tide against crime.
This app further solidifies government’s mandate on digital transformation and access to service delivery to all, enabled by Vodacom.
According to Business Tech, use of the tip-off facility is available on the app or via USSD (*134*1011#). Users can opt to report the crime anonymously, which will ensure their profile is not shared.
On completion of filling out all the necessary fields, the person reporting the crime or tip-off will receive a reference number. The number allows the user to add additional information relevant to the crime, or follow up on the progress that has been made.
The publication also noted that victims of a crime were still required to register a case at a police station for investigation and insurance purposes. The app wasn’t applicable for such.
“We also want to appeal to the nation that people must not abuse this app because what we are finding now with our 10111 call centre – we have 70% fake calls and that really puts a huge strain on our resources.”Brigadier Vish Naidoo, SAPS National spokesperson
What the SAPS hopes to achieve with the app
Brigadier Vish Naidoo, SAPS National spokesperson
SAPS National Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole revealed the aim for the crime-fighting app saying:
“Our end goal through the introduction of this app, is to create a safer society for all South Africans. By partnering with Vodacom, we’ve been able to take a step in the right direction as a country, one that sees us use technology to support national police efforts and bring communities together to help us fight crime.”