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City to reward whistle-blowers

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Blowing the whistle against crime could make you R1 000 richer.

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate has finalised a standard operating procedure around its informant reward system after the reward policy was adopted in mid-2013.

This policy makes provision for payment of up to R1 000 for information that will lead to an arrest or the successful confiscation or recovery of stolen goods or contraband, council said in a statement.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, said he was aware that the payment of informants was a hot topic for debate and that such systems are open to abuse and mismanagement.

“It is for this reason that we have put stringent measures in place and also placed a cap on the reward amount.

As far as I am concerned, R1 000 is a small price to pay if it helps us put criminals behind bars and recover stolen goods that cost us millions of rands to replace every year in any case.”

The first payment was made two years ago for a tip-off which led to the arrest of a Steenberg scrapyard owner for possession of stolen items.

But Smith said while the policy is two years old, it has not yet been exploited fully.

“The standard operating procedure is very clear on who qualifies, how claims should be processed, and who has the final say on any request for reward. So if anyone thinks this is an easy way to make a buck, they are quite mistaken.”

Payment of the reward will be considered if the information leads to an arrest, the confiscation of stolen or illegal goods, or the handing in of illegal or stolen goods.

A docket would have to be opened by police and a case number will be a prerequisite.

Payment will also be considered for information that leads to the promotion of good governance by enabling council to achieve substantial savings, recover monies, or to implement measures which substantially improve the manner in which it conducts business.

Requests for reward cannot come directly from the public and must be motivated for by a City staff member who received the information with sufficient proof, Smith added.

“These requests will then be considered by a special committee, with the requisite paper trail for purposes of auditing and to ensure transparency and the integrity of the process.

“No people under the age of 18 will qualify for the reward system and no City employees will be considered for rewards.” News24


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