Vodacom, in partnership with the South African Police Service (SAPS), will empower citizens to contribute to their own safety as well as the safety of their communities through the newly launched MySAPS app. The app, which is a first of its kind on the continent, will support national police efforts in South Africa by bringing communities into closer contact with their local police stations.
The MySAPS app will enable South Africans to engage with law enforcement officials to:
• Provide tip-offs – The ability to submit crime tip-offs anonymously through the app.
• Find police stations and facilities – The ability to locate the nearest police station, or vulnerable services facilities.
• Emergency alert – The ability to send emergency messages in case of danger.
Vodacom public enterprises managing executive, Rudi Matjokana, said: “Digital citizen engagement platforms are a powerful tool in the public sector’s quest to improve and manage service delivery. This will further strengthen the relationship between the police and communities - creating better policing for the future.”
South Africans all over the country have been affected by crime, whether directly or indirectly. The MySAPS app is being introduced in a bid to curb crime and is designed to automate, enrich and streamline interactions between the SAPS and South Africans, using a digital platform to promote active citizenry interaction.
“Our end goal through the introduction of this app is to create a safer society for all South Africans. By partnering with Vodacom, we’ve been able to take a step in the right direction as a country, one that sees us use technology to support national police efforts and bring communities together to help us fight crime,” says South African Police Service national commissioner, General Khehla Sitole. He adds: “MySAPS will provide South Africans with a new and easy way to access police services and information.”
Upon registering on the platform, and creating a profile, users will be able to view a directory of police stations along with nearby social service facilities.
To make use of the tip-off facility, within the app or via USSD, users can select to report the crime anonymously, which will ensure their profile is not shared. They can then proceed to identify the type of incident, whether it is corruption, drug-related, theft or human trafficking.
They will then need to provide the incident details (who, what, when, where and how they know about the crime), as well as provide the suspect’s details anonymously, to help the SAPS create a profile of the suspect.
Once they’ve completed all the necessary fields, the person reporting the crime or tip-off will receive a reference number, which they can use to add additional information relevant to the crime, or follow up on the progress that’s been made.
However, victims of a crime need to keep in mind that they are still required to register a case at a police station for investigation and insurance purposes.
The MySAPS app is available for South African citizens to download onto their smartphones from the Google Play store and Apple App store. A USSD string is also available for feature-phone users.
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