SA crime-busting tools get global nod

Ray Maota

Crime Line with support from the police has
since its inception been responsible for over
1 400 arrests and R41-million in seizures.
(Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For
 more free photos, visit the image library)

Yusuf Abramjee, the head of Crime Line,
said that the initiative was humbled by the
honours and would like to thank all tipsters
and their partners in fighting crime.
(Image: Flickr)

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• Yusuf Abramjee
  Head: Crime Line
  +27 82 441 4203

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South African crime-prevention and tip-off services, Crime Line and Crime Stop, have been recognised internationally for the role they play in combating criminal activity.

Crime Line and Crime Stop received three awards during the 32nd Crime Stoppers International (CSI) conference held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, from 23 to 26 October 2011.

The two initiatives also scooped three awards at the 2010 CSI conference for outstanding print, radio and television advertising campaigns.

Michael Gordon Gibson, CSI president, said: “South Africa is leading the way on many fronts and we are extremely proud of their achievements, especially over the past year.”

Yusuf Abramjee, head of Crime Line, said: “The world has recognised our achievements and it’s something that South Africa should be proud of. We thank the thousands of anonymous tipsters and our partners for the successes.”

Abramjee also thanked the South African Police Service for acting on the tip-offs, which have led to many arrests and seizures.

South Africa will bid to host the 2014 CSI conference. It is being held in Las Vegas, US, in 2012 and will be held in Europe in 2013.

Abramjee said he is confident the country will win the 2014 bid.

Fighting crime

Crime Line is a Primedia Group initiative launched in 2007 and is aimed at preventing, decreasing and ridding the country of criminal elements.

It was the first programme of its kind to introduce text-message technology for whistle-blowing.

Individuals in South Africa can text-message their tip-offs to 32111 for R1 (US 14 cents) any time, day or night. Crime Line also has a website that features the photographs of wanted criminals and lists numbers of who to contact with a lead.

Since its inception, Crime Line has been responsible for over 1 400 arrests and R41-million (US$5.3-million) in seizures.

Crime Stop is a police initiative, which operates call centres around the country aimed at receiving tip-offs of criminal activity. The local toll-free number for tipsters is 08600 10111.

Both these initiatives promise anonymity for information supplied, thereby protecting the whistle-blower.

Abramjee, Major-General Vinesh Moonoo and Colonel Dr Attie Lamprecht from the police service were added to the CSI’s board of directors in 2010.

Lamprecht said: “We are proud of our achievements and the successful partnership we have with Crime Line.

“The CSI awards mean a lot to us and we are delighted. We will continue to spread the message and encourage communities to blow the whistle on crime.”

Awarding excellence

The crime tip-off bodies won the Productivity Award for the number of arrests and recovered stolen property in communities with over 5-million inhabitants.

They also won two Media Awards for their special TV reports on criminals and criminal activity, and for their special print campaigns urging the community to speak out about known crime.

Abramjee said: “We are delighted to have won the top awards again. We are humbled and we thank the public and our partners for the support.

“We also salute the production team at Primedia Broadcasting that resulted in us winning the television-audio visual category.”

The production teams from Primedia’s radio stations, including Talk Radio 702, 94.7 Highveld Stereo, 567 Cape Talk and 94.5 Kfm, produced a special report of the initiative’s achievements during its anniversary earlier this year.

A few months ago Crime Line ensured that newspaper photographs were published of men wanted by police for a spate of ATM bombings, and this led to arrests within days.

CSI has praised a group of newspapers from the Independent Group for supporting Crime Line.

Leading from the front

Not only does Abramjee promote civic participation in the fight against crime, he has also been involved in a police sting operation, leading from the front.

This operation came after Abramjee uncovered a multimillion-rand school subsidy scam and was offered a bribe to keep quiet about it.

The reverend who ran the two schools, and was allegedly pocketing the state subsidies, offered Abramjee R7-million ($905 000) for his silence.

When Abramjee went to “collect” the first instalment of the bribe, he took police officers with him and they arrested the man on the spot.

He is now facing charges of fraud and corruption.