The findings of the auditor-general’s performance audit of service delivery at police stations and 10111 centres across the country revealed poor response times at the centres. The report stated that centres continue to be plagued by system and equipment failures, despite investments in the latest technology. The audit, which was conducted over two years – 2007 and 2008 – revealed that the use of technology did not have the desired outcome.
In May, the SAPS stated it had received the AG’s report and was in the process of “compiling a response through its normal channels”. It added this would be done through the assistant commissioner and a detailed response to the report should be available within a week.
While the report is still not available, the SAPS states it’s in the process of implementing “corrective measures”. It says all issues identified in the audit would be dealt with and that it would fulfil its mandate of creating safer communities.
The Mpumalanga police acknowledged the current system was problematic, as calls were not being answered and there was poor police response to emergencies. The province now hopes the centres will ensure quick call taking and dispatching of police officers to reduce delays in reaction to complaints.
“We want to improve the infrastructure at these three areas to minimise poor service delivery among police at the stations,” says Superintendent Sibongile Nkosi, spokesperson for the acting Mpumalanga police commissioner.
She adds that the centres will be equipped with the latest available equipment and technology, which would make information rapidly available to the police. The centres would have a digital private automatic branch exchange with an adequate telephone exchange infrastructure and sufficient incoming lines through two exchanges to provide for the estimated number of calls.
There would also be an integrated system data network with several software packages, including automatic call distribution, automatic number identification, automatic location identification and computer telephony integration.
However, she notes that only skilled personnel would ensure the system is effective and adequately monitored.
Pic: SA Police call centre