Centre 'to improve police response times'
14 December 2012
South African Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa opened the Mangaung 10111
Command Centre in Heidedal in the Free State on Wednesday in a bid to bridge the
gap between victims of crime and the police.
Mthethwa said one of the more prominent complaints from communities was the slow police response time on calls logged with 10111 centres.
The opening of the 10111 Command Centre aimed to support the department's "triple-C approach": better command and control within the police, better co-ordination, and better communication, both externally and within the South African Police Service (SAPS).
"An effective station commander must be on the ground, overseeing a station daily;
being in touch with the communities, community policing forums and importantly,
leading by example," Mthethwa said.
Communicating with communities
"Police must ensure that once they arrest criminals, [they] communicate to society
such scoundrels are now behind bars. Failure to do so leads to anxiety,
strained relations and perceptions that police are ineffective, when in fact they are
He also noted positive results on the piloted flagship 10111 project launched two
years ago in Midrand in Gauteng in partnership with Business against Crime South
Africa, explaining that the idea at the time was to ensure that as they build 10111
command centres anywhere in the country, they benchmark their centres with a
clear blueprint plan.
Some of the outcomes resulting from the intervention included assessments
and quicker turn-around response calls, effective monitoring systems and significant
financial savings to the department.
"Lessons learnt have assisted in improved efficiency, timeous and better
management of calls when society reports crimes to the police," Mthethwa said.
'Protecting citizens' fundamental rights'
management of the 10111 centres, we can improve performance
putting in place a human resource complement that is well-capacitated and
evaluated on a regular basis," he said.
The department is also currently in the process of reviewing the White Paper on
Safety and Security, primarily to ensure that the SAPS turns into functional
machinery that is continuously improving on its deliverables.
Mthethwa said this speaks to a transformation process that is results-driven,
effective and responsive to the safety needs of society.
"As we emphasised in the draft White Paper, transformation within the SAPS in the
broader sense must be aimed at changing the internal police environment and culture
into a professional, representative, efficient, effective, transparent and accountable
service," he said.
"It must be a service which upholds and protects the fundamental rights of citizens
while executing its mandate in accordance with the Constitution
and the needs of
"Community-orientated policing must speak to the manner in which police operate
and how they understand and engage with the communities they serve. Equally this
philosophy must recognise that policing is not something done to people but rather
policing is something that is done with people, and to achieve these, systems such
as 10111 centres are important," Mthethwa said.