App gets public in on the act

The taxi rank near the Main Road in Wynberg.

The new My SAPS app lets the public report crime or get help, and having it on your phone is just one more way to protect yourself and your family this festive season, say the police.

Last week, Diep River police spokesman Constable Zak Marais announced the development of the My SAPS app.

You need to register and create a profile to use the app, which gives you a directory of police stations and emergency services and shows you where the nearest ones are to you. You can send emergency messages to the police from the app. There’s also an option that lets you send an anonymous tip-off and then follow up on the police’s progress with the case.

Crime victims would still need to go to a police station to register a case, said Constable Marais.

The app is available from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. If you don’t have a smart phone, dial *134*10111# to access the SAPS Crime Tip-off lines.

Constable Marais says there are several safety tips the public should heed at this time of year:

Before leaving on holiday, tell your family or neighbours where you’re going, the route you will take and the time you expect to return.

High fences, large dogs on the property (with at least one sleeping inside the house) and a security system will all help to keep your home safe.

Only take your wheelie bin out on the morning of collections; not the night before. And be sure not to leave it outside because it will tell criminals you might be away. They can use the bins to stash stolen goods, as a hiding place from which to ambush you or as a ladder to get over your wall.

Business owners should avoid hiring casual workers without references, especially during the festive season.

Meanwhile, Ward 62 councillor Elizabeth Brunette told a community police forum meeting late last month that the City would deploy extra safety officers to Main Road, Wynberg, until the end of January.

She said the City was looking for a Wynberg business-precinct manager to manage informal trading around the public-transport hub and monitor by-law compliance.

SAPS Emergency Line: 10111 (or 112 free from cell phone).

Wynberg SAPS: 021 799 1300