13 October 2009
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa has launched When Duty Calls, a new television programme that gives information on wanted and missing persons and urges the public to come forward with information about crimes.
“In addition, the programme will provide the public with feedback on police crime investigation successes,” Mthethwa said at the launch of the programme in Krugersdorp in Gauteng’s West Rand last week.
When Duty Calls started its weekly, Mondays at 6pm broadcast on SABC 2
Better quality of life
Mthethwa said that improving the safety of people in their homes, communities, places of work and entertainment would lead to a better quality of life for all South Africans.
“Crime undermines our efforts aimed at defeating poverty, even as poverty contributes in various ways in creating conditions that breed crime,” the minister said.
When Duty Calls builds on the success of Police File, a former programme that yielded impressive results in finding missing persons and locating and arresting criminals.
A total of 300 episodes of Police File have been screened since 2003.
Beacon of hope
Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said the true measure of success would be based on how When Duty Calls contributed 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,” he said.
“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 South African Broadcasting Corporation acting CEO Gab Mampone.