(Photo by Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo)
- Corruption Watch has developed a map-based online tool to report police corruption and misconduct.
- The Veza platform also allows South Africans to rate 1,150 police stations according to the levels of assistance, response time, communication, and professionalism.
- The data allows Corruption Watch and the public to track trends identifying problematic precincts.
- Honest and ethical police officials can also be nominated for their commitment to making South Africa a safer place.
- For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
An online platform developed by Corruption Watch allows South Africans to rate police stations according to the level of service provided.
Founded in 2012, Corruption Watch encourages the public to report incidents of tender fraud, bribery, and abuse of power via a secure online portal which offers whistle-blowers anonymity. Serious reports and tip-offs, which can also be delivered via WhatsApp or email, are investigated by the non-profit organisation which delivers findings to the relevant authorities.
Apart from allowing you to offer critical feedback, the Veza platform also offer valuable information relating to specialised units, like enabling users to find the nearest Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) office.
The online platform, which is both desktop and mobile-friendly, contains location pins of all 1,150 police stations across South Africa. The interactive map allows users to identify police stations and view associated resources. These details include the station’s budget, number of vehicles, holding cell capacity, policing, detective, and support services.
Veza online tool/Corruption Watch
Police stations can be rated according to four criteria – assistance, response time, communication, and professionalism – and users have the option of leaving a comment. Filing a corruption report – which is a separate mechanism to the rating process and is not limited to police stations – includes four types of incidents as follows:
- Dereliction of duty
- Abuse of power (public funds and/or resources, assets, position)
The report will need to include the time and date of when the incident occurred. An interactive map can be used to plot the exact location of where the incident occurred. While details of the report will only be released to Corruption Watch and the relevant authorities, the Veza map will be updated with red incident labels that list the type of corruption reported in a specific area.
This allows Corruption Watch and users of the public platform to track trends and hotspots, which is useful in identifying problematic police stations.
In addition to providing South Africans an opportunity to rate the level of service they receive at police stations and report incidents of corruption, Veza also contains a detailed “Know Your Rights” section. This page contains practical information, developed in consultation with legal experts, about your rights when you are:
- stopped at a roadblock;
- confronted with bribery; or
- involved in a protest.
The “Know Your Rights” portal also offers information on domestic violence, sexual abuse, and gender-based violence. Foreign nationals and street vendors, who may face harassment at the hands of police, can also find useful information here.
And while the Veza platform is built to hold members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) accountable for corruption, it also offers citizens the opportunity to nominate honest and ethical officers.
“Despite corruption and misconduct being widespread in our police service, there are many honest and ethical police officials who are dedicated to making our communities safer,” explains Corruption Watch.
“Working with various social partners, Corruption Watch will use this platform to honour and recognise cops who are committed to public service and upholding their oath of office.”
Corruption Watch is working with Accountability Lab South Africa to profile police officers who have been nominated for their outstanding commitment to the country’s safety.
(Compiled by Luke Daniel)