090410 Thembisa Fukude Forigen Corespondent Association and Yusuf Abramjee Chairperson National Press Club speaks during the press conference at The Michelangelo hotel in Sandton today.005 Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba

A call for help to 10111 has resulted in distress for many people who did not receive the help they needed.

People have shared their experiences on Twitter after an operator swore at Lead SA’s Yusuf Abramjee.

By and large their experiences have been negative.

Byron Goldberg tweeted: @ChrisGibbonsSA taxi driver attempted to kidnap myself and a friend unless we paid a ransom. 10111 put down on me twice. Police or Pigs?

Susan Nomore said: @ewnupdates. Phoned to report a suspected hijacking in Vanderbijl. They put us through to Midrand. #10111

Desere Girdlestone wrote: Neighbour had 5 men outside their home Called #10111 3 times with no luck daughter called me at 3am 2 call my security – there in 5m #EWNchat

Phindile Sidzumo said: *shrugs, this happens all the time*

Helena de Niet, who had had a different experience, tweeted: @ewnupdates I’ve had good responses from 10111. Every time I’ve contacted them, the response has been good!

According to the SAPS 2010/2011 annual report, 9 734 501 calls were received by the SAPS’s 21 10111 centres in 2010/11.

This was 14 percent more calls than in 2009/10 during which a total of 8 537 619 calls were received.

An estimated 70.9 percent (6.9 million) of calls received do not relate to police.

These calls include prank calls, emergency service enquiries, road directions to hospitals or legal advice relating to domestic violence and other personal problems.

Police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said the average response time to calls in Gauteng was 20 minutes or less.

“The operator receives the call and is able to see where the person is calling from – physical address and location. The call is then dispatched to someone who is in the specific area and a call-out is made to the station, sector vehicle or flying squad, depending on the emergency,” he said.

Calls can be made through a Telkom line free of charge, or from a cellphone, for which the charge is at normal cellphone rates.

All calls to the centre are recorded. Some operators are police officers while most are part of the administrative team.

The SAPS urges the public to dial 10111 in emergencies only.

For less serious complaints, the public should call the nearest police station or patrol watch directly.

“We urge the public to contact the sector vehicle as the response time is much quicker because it is a direct line,” said Malila.

He said the SAPS had assigned someone to investigate the Abramjee call and the matter would be dealt with.

Independent Complaints Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini said they were going to investigate the complaint and would be guided by the information given.

“Depending on the outcome of the investigation, we will then compile a report and make recommendations to the police,” he said.

Steps to follow:

Dial the telephone number 10111 anywhere in SA.

A call centre operator answers the call and takes all the necessary information.

The information is captured and a reference number is given to you as proof and for future reference.

The complaint is assigned to the local SAPS Community Service Centre, sector vehicle or the nearest flying squad vehicle. - Pretoria News