A resident who needed to report an emergency situation to Lansdowne SAPS has questioned how the police station can deliver a service when its telephone line has not been in operation for three weeks.
The irate Lansdowne resident, who asked for her identity to be protected because of the case she was reporting, said she tried several times to contact the police on Thursday April 22, and when she could not get through, she eventually went there to report the crime.
“When I asked the police officer at the service desk why nobody is answering their phone, I was informed that their telephone line has been down for three weeks. This is completely unacceptable. How is the public being served if one is not able to call the police station?” she asked.
Lansdowne SAPS spokesperson, Sergeant Nkululeko Mnyaka, confirmed that the station’s landlines have been down for more than three weeks now.
“Residents can call 10111 or 112 for any emergency, alternatively the shift commander’s number, which is 082 378 8760,” he said.
When asked if the public was informed about this, Sergeant Mnyaka said the Lansdowne Community Police Forum (CPF) informed the community about it through various channels.
Rafique Foflonker, chairperson of the Lansdowne CPF, urged residents to make contact with 10111 for an emergency in general, saying that this number is the fastest way to get the help needed.
“The telephone system at Lansdowne SAPS is very old – so much so that there are no parts available to repair it. Apparently Lansdowne is not the only police station in this situation. I know it is frustrating, but it involves highly technical parts to be configured. This means that it might take another few weeks before it is replaced. If it is an emergency, I always ask the public to call 10111 or the City’s emergency number, as that is the fastest way to get the attention needed. They are equipped to deal with emergencies in a call centre environment and they capture everything electronically. I would strongly advise the public not to call the police station for emergencies. The police station number is there to make enquiries, or follow up on cases,” Mr Foflonker said.
The Lansdowne CPF asked the different neighbourhood watches in its precinct to spread the message about the telephone lines being down, Mr Foflonker said, adding that they will also inform the public through social media this week.