One in every four calls to 10111 are either not answered, dropped, or “mishandled”

Taranis

Banned
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,446
Who you gonna call?
19 Apr 2014
Rowan Philp

KWAZULU-NATAL’S middle-class residents are turning their backs on the police 10111 system, with at least 70% now calling community or security call centres first in emergencies.
Weekend Witness traced a dozen emergencies this month back to the first call placed by victims or witnesses, and in 10 of 12 cases the resident chose to contact their neighbourhood watch duty line, SA CAN, or an armed response company, and allowed them to contact SAPS or paramedics.
Weekend Witness has also established that the SAPS 10111 call centre for greater Durban is currently operating from “temporary premises”.
And the residents who call them most — neighbourhood watch operators — report that one in every four calls to 10111 are either not answered, dropped, or “mishandled”.
Former policewoman Karen Buxton, of the Waterfall 3 neighbourhood watch, said she had to call 10111 eight times to report a violent domestic disturbance this month, and that “when I finally got through, I had to repeatedly ask the woman to turn the music down to hear me — it sounded like a party in there”.
DA national police spokesperson Dianne Kohler-Barnard, who lives in Morningside, Durban, declared “I will never call 10111”.
Last year, the South African Reconciliation Barometer recorded a dramatic 12,3% drop in confidence in the police.
Instead, in a major shift toward calling “who you know” in a crisis, ward councillors and safety experts said the vast majority of suburbanites prefer an indirect route to emergency services, which they claim results in faster response to their homes.
In the Pinetown suburb of Highland Hills alone, the past week’s emergencies included a pedestrian knocked down, a woman waking to a large snake in her bed, and a burglar seen jumping over a wall.
Dylan Jenkins, head of the neighbourhood watch, said that — rather than calling 10111 — residents involved with all three cases first called the watch’s duty captain, who then used the Zello “walkie talkie” cellphone app to contact SA CAN, who then called the needed services.
Unlike residents, Brian Jones of SA CAN reported a “generally efficient” response from 10111 from the calls they made on residents’ behalf, and a rapid SAPS response to the scene — and suggested “its because they know who we are; we understand how to talk to police; and there’s no time wasted spelling names, or with traumatised victims in shock, trying to explain their situation to strangers.
“Also, 73% of the calls coming in to 10111 are not SAPS-related”.
SA CAN is a hybrid business and NGO, which says it has used new technologies and partnerships with more than 80 emergency services to become the country’s second largest community safety network, behind Gauteng-based eBlockwatch.
Jones said his network also had technology unavailable to police — including a system which identifies a caller’s location within seconds, a “dial-5” speed-dial system already used by 11 000 members in KZN, and an 0861 emergency number which all non-members could use as well.
Upper Highway councillor Rick Crouch said: “I would say fewer than 20% of my constituents would make use of [10111] in emergencies now, with other options they have faith in.”
Shane Thomson, operations manager for Enforce in Durban, said more than 90% of residents with armed response contracts spoke to a security company operator first during an emergency — and that the vast majority of these asked the company to contact SAPS.
However, police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker warned that “direct” contact with victims was key for the best police response.
“We always urge the community to call 10111 first in cases of emergency. It is always important that we speak directly to the complainant rather than a third party,” Naicker said.
Naicker also disputed the seemingly major shift to alternate call centres, saying “we have not noticed a drop in calls to the 10111 centre so if there are people calling other agencies rather than the police, it is minimal. Our hoax calls have also not dropped.”

‘Plethora of emergency numbers may lead to confusion during crisis’
ERIC Clover had to escape from his own home when an armed robber kicked down both his front door and his bedroom door.
But, after he evaded the robber, jumped his gate and desperately flagged down a passing motorist on Igwababa Road in Kloof, Clover didn’t shout “There’s a robber at my house — Please call 10111!”. Instead, he shouted “Call SA CAN!”.
A dozen KZN residents who have experienced recent emergencies all told Weekend Witness they were pleased with the response from non-10111 call centres, including armed response, SA CAN and neighbourhood watch patrol leaders.
But police and community representatives warned that the plethora of emergency numbers now listed on print-outs next to home phones could lead to confusion during crisis, or “broken telephone” miscommunication for SAPS and paramedics.
Weekend Witness also established that the 10111 call centres in Hilton and Durban are often flooded by up to four separate reports of the same incident.
Sam Shallcross, a base controller for Upper Highway neighbourhood patrollers, said the broader network ensured that help got to residents quickly, but admitted there was a “danger” of multiple 10111 calls.
In Pinetown, the Ashley Residents Neighbourhood Watch take so many “initial” emergency calls that they recently called a suburb meeting just to appeal to residents to call 10111 first — “if only just to get an IR [incident report] number”.
But other community policing forums have simply accepted that residents trust civilian neighbours or private security contracts more than police to organise help, and are rolling out dedicated 24-hour cell phone numbers.
Nikki Moolman of the Kloof CPF said it had launched its own emergency number this week to be saved as a speed dial: “We still suggest residents call SAPS, but now they have another team who can assist.”
Last month, when Pietermaritzburg businessman Stefan Schutte found his parents and brother murdered at their Richmond smallholding, he chose the SA CAN speed-dial, rather than the SAPS emergency number.
Last week, when Hillcrest resident Basil Smith thought he and his wife might have been poisoned, he first called SA CAN — and so did elder care worker Lynne Erasmus of Hilton, after a housebreaking at a family home.
In addition to the 33 000 associate members calling SA CAN, armed response companies say panic alarm call-backs mean they are often the first to speak to victims, and that they typically call 10111 on the their clients’ behalf.
Upper Highway councillor Rick Crouch said “far too many numbers” had created confusion. He admitted: “I have no idea who I’d call in a real emergency.”
In an effort to deal with it, SA CAN this week launched a laminated emergency “protocols” card, endorsed by the provincial SAPS. It recommends calling 10111 from a Telkom phone — so that your address pops up on the operator’s computer screen — and simultaneously pressing your security panic alarm or SA CAN speed dial button.
Just one “useful numbers” list kept by a pensioner couple in Gillitts includes the voluntary paramedics service VEMA, the Flying Squad, Blue Security, Metro police, ER24, SA CAN, Hillcrest Hospital, an emergency chemist number, their neighbour’s security company, Careline and Lifeline. Unsure whether they can call SA CAN without being members, they had written two question marks next to the number (non-members can, in fact, call the service). Across the highway, a similar family’s list includes an emergency “base” number for the Kloof Community Policing Forum — which was circled; a newly issued cell number for the same CPF; the local police station, and numbers for Community Emergency Medical Services (Cems); SA CAN; and 10111.
http://www.witness.co.za/index.php?showcontent&global[_id]=117582
 

Hemi300c

Honorary Master
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
24,657
But the cANCer promised they would fix everything. .......
 

Saba'a

Executive Member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
7,783
Thanks for sacan and eblockwatch info. In my experience yes 10111 response takes a while. ADT ok but could also improve.
 

Fulcrum29

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
48,788
Aren't these call centres local to each province?

10111 (Emergencies: Police/Fire)
10177 (Ambulance)
Mobile only:
112 (Anywhere in SA)
107 (Cape Town)

112 iirc, takes you to the nearest designated call centre provided by your cellular network which then puts you through to the required emergency service.

I hardly ever called 10111, only 112. In my own location where I live, speed dial both police stations and fire department (and ambulance).

Do note that 112 can be a horrendous experience, but in my own experience it gets me further than 10111.
 

xrapidx

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Messages
39,548
Tried 10111 once after a car accident, they kept transferring me... Gave up
 

Wyzak

Expert Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Messages
4,034
I've had similar experiences with 10111 in Gauteng. Tried getting them to respond to a vehicle that had been broken to / abandoned after theft/hijacking without avail. Tried to get them to respond to a driver that was obviously WAY over the limit, no chance. Then there are the other times that you can't even get through to the operator.

If I'm in a life threatening emergency and I only have time to make one call, it won't be to 10111.
 

ponder

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
91,013
Calling 10111?

Ain-t-Nobody-Got-Time-Fo-Dat-sweet-brown-31241125-480-330.jpg


You call the local security companies, not the police.
 
F

Fudzy

Guest
There needs to be a site where people can report failed 10111 calls, the data can then be fed up via CPFs
 

Merlin

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
2,540
I thought ZA's designated emergency number, from way back when, was/is 999?

What about zuma's government line that we heard so much about? Is he now tired of listening to citizen's strife?
 

Xena1

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
607
"Jones said his network also had technology unavailable to police — including a system which identifies a caller’s location within seconds"

Why isn't technology that are used by the police equal to that used by others? Surely better technology can be developed for the police to work with? Will the police force be more effective with better technology or are they just useless?
 

Flanders

Honorary Master
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
13,587
I've tried 10111 twice in the past and both times it just rang until it went dead.

This weekend I was in KZN and on Sat night had the fsckers cutting the burglar bars trying to get in with them knowing full well I was there and awake. Lekka feeling knowing you are on your OWN in that situation. Phoned the local cop shop and they never bothered to rock up. Pathetic.
 

ambo

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
2,684
I thought ZA's designated emergency number, from way back when, was/is 999?
112 is the new official emergency number that was designated in the telecoms act a few years back. The 10xxx short codes are a Telkom legacy but I don't think that there is any official requirement that they work from all networks.

999 is the UK emergency number.
 

CataclysmZA

Executive Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
5,523
"Jones said his network also had technology unavailable to police — including a system which identifies a caller’s location within seconds"

Why isn't technology that are used by the police equal to that used by others? Surely better technology can be developed for the police to work with? Will the police force be more effective with better technology or are they just useless?

My dad's in the police force and I've been in many police stations in the past - all they have is their dockets and files, a few pens, a notepad and a regular-ass touch tone telephone. It's incredibly low-tech.

The most advanced technology I've seen in a station was a rack of five servers used for monitoring cameras, VOIP, record storage, phone call records and an internet proxy, which mostly just kept you in the intranet anyway. Its mostly a lack of training that keeps these kinds of things from being deployed wholesale, but in the more well-run areas they are trying to keep up with tech advances.

They are nowhere near as advanced as the US, where operators can push jobs/calls/missing persons alerts to the computers in squad cars along with GPS coordinates and photos if the people involved have a record on file. Such a system would only work if the townships had proper streets and streetnames and house numbers. Umazizake near Graaff-Reinet is relatively small compared to ones in the city, but it's a maze in some areas.
 
Last edited:
F

Fudzy

Guest
They are nowhere near as advanced as the US, where operators can push jobs/calls/missing persons alerts to the computers in squad cars along with GPS coordinates and photos if the people involved have a record on file. Such a system would only work if the townships had proper streets and streetnames and house numbers. Umazizake near Graaff-Reinet is relatively small compared to ones in the city, but it's a maze in some areas.

I wonder if this is somewhere the private sector can help? GIS solutions etc, donation of hardware.
 

ponder

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
91,013
Such a system would only work if the townships had proper streets and streetnames and house numbers. Umazizake near Graaff-Reinet is relatively small compared to ones in the city, but it's a maze in some areas.

You don't really need street names an stuff like that, the technology is there to give you a grid location on a map or gps unit. Might not get you to the guy's front door but would get you pretty close.
 

Taranis

Banned
Joined
Feb 12, 2014
Messages
1,446
112 is the new official emergency number that was designated in the telecoms act a few years back. The 10xxx short codes are a Telkom legacy but I don't think that there is any official requirement that they work from all networks.

999 is the UK emergency number.
I wouldn't ring 10111 from a cellphone. For one thing, it isn't free - it should be!
 
Top