Crime Line initiative leads to 635 arrests

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pretoria -The Primedia Crime Line initiative has so far led to 635 arrests and the seizure of stolen goods valued at R24.8 million through community members sending tip-offs about possible criminal activity.

The majority of arrests were made in connection with dealing and possession of drugs, while the goods recovered included counterfeit materials as well as abandoned and stolen motor vehicles.

According to a statement released by the Primedia Group and the South African Police Service, since its launch, Crime Line has gained the support of various media organizations and other partners will also be coming on board shortly.

In Gauteng, an sms tip-off on 6 February resulted in a man being arrested for raping his 17-year-old mentally disabled sister.

"The man appeared in court on Friday but in order to protect the victim, the identity of the suspect cannot be revealed," said Director Sally de Beer of the Acting National Commissioner's office. .

"We want to remind members of the community firstly to provide as much detailed information in the tip-off as possible. Secondly, we must remind community members not to treat Crime Line as a means of reporting an emergency situation.

"The police can only investigate crime tip-offs through this mechanism and not respond rapidly to an emergency, this must still be reported through 10111 or to the nearest police station. It is also not a complaints line".

Head of Primedia's Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee, said on average, at least one criminal was arrested every day.

"We appeal to the public to continue passing on detailed information anonymously about those involved in wrongdoing. It is heartening to see that members of the public are no longer remaining silent. Crime Line is a safe way of blowing the whistle on criminals," Mr Abramjee added.

"We must also target the criminals who are responsible for serious crimes such as murder, hijacking, cash and bank heists and house robberies."

Last year, a list of six of Gauteng's most wanted was circulated. While no arrests have been made yet, Mr Abramjee urged members of the public to be on the lookout for the men who are regarded as dangerous.

The photos can be viewed on www.crimeline.co.za.

Since its launch in June 2007 Primedia's anonymous tip-off line has received a number of accolades and international recognition.

During the Crime Stoppers International (CSI) conference in November 2007, Crime Line was commended for recording the highest number of community driven tip offs in the world.

The successes achieved through Crime Line were indicative of the benefits of partnerships between the public, the media and law enforcement agencies, said CSI.

Both Primedia and SAPS hope to replicate successful levels of community action throughout the country.

Members of the public can SMS their anonymous tip-offs to 32211. The anonymous tip-off line is available 24 hours a day. SMS are charged at R1 each.

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