Minister launches crime-fighting TV programme

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Krugersdorp - The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, has launched "When Duty Calls" - a new crime-fighting television programme.

The programme, which will be broadcast on SABC 2 at 6pm from Monday next week, will screen information about serious crimes, wanted and missing persons and urge the public to come forward with information about dangerous crimes.

"In addition, the programme will provide the public with feedback on police crime investigation successes," said Mthethwa, speaking at the launch of the programme on Thursday.

He reiterated that improving the safety and security of people in their homes, communities, places of work and entertainment, would lead to a better quality of life.

"Crime undermines our efforts aimed at defeating poverty even as poverty contributes in various ways in creating conditions that breed crime," the minister explained.

"When Duty Calls" builds on the success of the former Police File programme, which yielded impressive results, particularly in finding missing persons and locating and arresting perpetrators of crime.

A total of 300 episodes of Police File have been screened since 2003.

Deputy Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, said the true measure of success would be based on how "When Duty Calls" contributes to the decrease in crime and not just in the number of viewers.

"It should become a beacon of hope to vulnerable persons who have not seen their loved ones, while instilling fear in criminals. This is the kind of reflection we would like to see," he said.

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele hoped the nation would respond to the programme.

"As the police, our fundamental role is to maintain, restore public order, serve and protect our communities in our operations of fiercely fighting and combating crime. We are confident that this partnership will yield tremendous results as we fight crime together with communities."

The SABC said it was pleased to continue to be part of helping the police to combat crime.

"This also provides the public broadcaster with a platform to execute its role as a watchdog for the South African community," said SABC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Gab Mampone.

Mampone added that the launch of "When Duty Calls" would fundamentally gain the public's support and participation in the national fight against crime.

Earlier in the day, top police officials, including the Minister, Deputy Minister and Commissioner held an operation on the R511 outside Diepsloot. Hundreds of police officers and Metro police officers pulled over vehicles to search for illegal weapons and substances, as well as to check their roadworthiness.

Volunteers were also there to hand out information about the new television programme.