Police phones unanswered, numbers incorrect
A large percentage of police station numbers either ring unanswered or are incorrectly listed, according to recent research.
Beeld newspaper reported Democratic Alliance employee and political researcher Gareth van Onselen, who conducted and funded the research in his private capacity, said 35 percent of the calls to 1116 police stations countrywide went unanswered.
The numbers are listed on the SAPS website. In order to be classified as unanswered, the telephone had to ring at least 15 times.
In Gauteng, the Vanderbijlpark, Sandton, Sunnyside, Silverton, and Midrand police stations failed to answer their phones.
In addition, 7.7 percent of the officially listed numbers were incorrect.
"This translates to 85 police stations servicing thousands of people, where the number is either invalid, or the caller gets through to the number of a business or private residence. Mistakes like this can have terrible consequences in an emergency," Van Onselen said.
Eersterust, Eldorado Park, and Mabopane were among the large policing areas where the police station number was incorrectly listed.
All the calls were made on either May 4 or May 21, between 11.30am and 8.45pm.
Police spokesman Brigadier Lindela Mashigo told the newspaper police would comment once they had had a chance to study Van Onselen's information and make their own calls.