WC launches policing SMS line

The initiative is part of the province’s “reward a cop/report a cop” programme.

Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato

CAPE TOWN - A new SMS line has been set up to get feedback about policing from people in the Western Cape, the Department of Community Safety said on Thursday.

The initiative is an extension of the province's "reward a cop/report a cop" programme.

The department wants communities to report incidents of bad policing as well as provide positive feedback using the SMS line.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said the initiative is about strengthening the province's oversight over the South African Police Service (SAPS).

"We have no operational control over the police, but oversight and monitoring is a very, very important role for us."

Plato said he met with communities across the province to listen to their concerns and develop a better understanding of priority crimes affecting various areas.

From Thursday, communities can SMS the word "safe" to 35395 and an official will contact them.

In addition, the mobile communication platform of the department will give people an opportunity to find out about traffic updates and road safety measures.

Residents can access this service by texting the word "info" to the same number.