Veza Tool: Report bad cops and praise top performers
Pretoria - The public can now name and shame unethical and dishonest police officers by reporting them through a new online platform called Veza Tool.
Corruption Watch - the brain behind an interactive and open data website - yesterday launched Veza Tool during a virtual media briefing.
Kavisha Pillay, head of stakeholders and campaigns at the non-profit organisation, said the platform was conceptualised over a period of three years in a bid to improve transparency and accountability in the SAPS.
Veza, which loosely means reveal, will allow whistle-blowers to report corruption within the police by sharing information anonymously on the website.
One of the website’s features is also to enable people to nominate honest and ethical police officers to be profiled for the good work they perform in their communities.
Pillay said: "We know that there is this widespread misconduct and corruption in the police, but it is also important to make sure that we profile positive experiences and that we can inspire the culture of integrity within our police service."
The website was also populated with information about all 1 150 police stations across the country.
For example, the public can access information related to the budgets, resourcing, locations, and personnel of police stations.
Pillay described the platform as a one of its kind in the South African context, using technology to address social justice issues.
"This is an open data website designed to fight corruption, and this tool is the first of its kind in South Africa. It is the first time in the history of our country that we will now be able to access information from all 1 150 police stations across the country," she said.
The tool, she said, would also enable the public to read through their individual rights under a functionality called “know your rights”.
The tool would also afford the police an opportunity to interact with their constituencies and talk about the challenges that they experienced in a fight against crime.
Gareth Newham, head of the Justice and Violence Prevention Programme at the Institute for Security Studies, said the cutting-edge innovation had the potential to promote and enhance community policing.
He expressed excitement about the launch of the tool, saying, "nothing like this exists anywhere in Africa".
"One of the big challenges that really stand in the way of the police are community relations, promoting professional policing, ensuring that police are transparent and accountable," he said.
People can access the tool by logging on: www.veza.org.za