The new contact centre and management system have improved Gauteng policing, says the community safety MEC.A new management tool and police emergency contact centre have improved the quality of policing in the province, says Gauteng community safety MEC Firoz Cachalia.
Cachalia says all policing areas, bar the West Rand, have been integrated into the 10111 centre that officially started operating on 29 October.
“It is staffed by specially trained operators and equipped with the latest technology,” says the MEC. “All police vehicles in Gauteng will be equipped with automatic vehicle location (AVL) devices and all emergency response police personnel will have special [Tetra] radios with digital tracking, which will allow the 10111 centre to track the response time and route taken by every police vehicle responding to an emergency,” he adds.
“Where necessary, 10111 operators will be able to direct police officers along the quickest route to the site of an emergency call” using geospatial software loaded on their consoles.
Successes chalked up for the centre by Cachalia includes:
* All police precincts with the exception of those falling within the West Rand are linked to the new 10111 centre. The West Rand operates from a different 10111 emergency response centre because the radio towers for linkage to the new centre are still being constructed. The delays are as a result of conducting an environmental impact assessment for each tower.
* Almost 2 000 police vehicles have had the AVL system installed and by the end of the year a total of 8 000 police vehicles will have the system installed.
* Emergency calls are generally answered more promptly and police vehicles dispatched more quickly due to the increase in the numbers of call operators.
Cachalia conceded there “are still a few challenges to overcome to ensure that all the technology is fully operational”. However, he is confident “this initiative will increasingly play an important role in improving the efficiency of police responses to emergency calls for assistance”.
Provincial police spokesman superintendent Eugene Opperman echoed Cachalia, saying: “The Gauteng 10111 centre is doing well, and the very modern radio system is a dream come true in terms of much better radio communication, telephony, and in certain instances also police vehicle tracking and management.”
Cachalia says police management and oversight have been improved through the use of the Gauteng Information on Police Performance System implemented last year.
“This system is based on information from various police databases and allows us to track different categories of crime across each of the 130 police precincts in Gauteng on a monthly basis,” he says.
“Furthermore, it allows us to monitor the efficiency rating of each police station according to the SAPS Police Station Performance Chart. We are also able to monitor the provincial case flow for 11 serious violent crime categories from arrest to their disposal by the courts on a monthly basis.
“Through analysing this information, we are able to identify police stations that are experiencing increases in violent crime or deterioration in performance on a month-to-month basis. Currently, we call at least five of these police stations into a Police Station Performance Review meeting to look at their challenges in more depth.
“Preparation is undertaken before the meeting through interviews with station managers and further analysis of their performance statistics. During the meeting, station commissioners present a plan as to how they will address their most pressing challenges within a period of six months,” Cachalia explains.
“We then track the performance of each police station reviewed more closely over a period of six months and evaluate the extent to which their performance improvement plans have had the desired impact on policing and crime in their precincts. In this way, we are able to identify best policing practices and develop further interventions if necessary,” the MEC adds.
“Ultimately, the system will support our ability to systematically work with each police station to improve policing performance across the province as a whole.”