July 11, 2018

Police getting it right

The South African Police Service has had some bad press over the past few years. SAPS members being found to be members of criminal gangs and perpetrators robberies, pictures of members sleeping on the job and incidents of corruption and ineptitude have all tarnished the service’s reputation. So, it is good to hear some positive news about the SAPS for a change.

A friend of mine’s car was stolen at a restaurant in Midrand on a Sunday a couple of weeks ago. He duly reported the theft at the Midrand police station to get a case number for his insurers. Once he had his case number, he thought that was the last that he would hear from the SAPS.

The next day, Monday, he received a call from someone from victim support, to commiserate and offer him counselling and support, which he declined. A short while later, a call from the investigating officer, a Captain. My friend was pleasantly surprised by the concern, empathy and efficiency that he experienced from the SAPS.

There was a bit of a fly in the ointment, though. The next day my friend received a call from someone who identified himself as Captain, let’s call him Joe Soap, from Midrand police station. Captain Soap asked a strange question: “Do you know where your car is?” My friend retorted, “You’re the Police, you tell me!”  Captain Soap then asked if the car was insured and when my friend said yes, it was, Captain Soap rang off.

Perplexed, my friend phoned the investigating officer, who told him that there was no Captain Soap at Midrand SAPS. He went on to tell him that this was part of a scam, preying on uninsured victims of car theft. The “Captain” will tell the victim that his car has been found in another town and needs to be transported to Midrand. Naturally, the fraudster tells the victim he must pay the transport costs into a bank account. He will keep making excuses and ask for more money, until the victim realises that he is being had.

Darren Scott shared a terrifying experience he had on last Thursday evening, when he was held up and robbed at gunpoint when stuck in traffic in his car on William Nicol Drive. After the incident he came across 3 JMPD officers about 80 metres from where it happened.  He told them what had happened and asked for help. They were completely indifferent, took no action, and drove off without even taking Mr Scott’s details!

In his post, Mr Scott shared the exceptional service – “empathy, friendliness, urgency and efficiency” – that he experienced at the Douglasdale SAPS.

So kudos to SAPS, it is encouraging to hear that they are getting it right.

And shame on JMPD! In my last blog, I wrote about a serious accident involving a very obviously drunk driver, when the JMPD officers refused to go to the scene because no-one had died. Things have clearly not improved.

 

Robin Twaddle
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