Safety officers in the Central City are now just a WhatsApp message away.The public can now report safety issues to the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) Safety and Security Department through WhatsApp.Muneeb Hendricks, manager of CCID Safety and Security, says: “We have now officially activated WhatsApp Web in our 24-hour control centre which means members of the public can contact us via WhatsApp using our emergency number 082 415 7127. This follows extensive testing which we conducted for two months to make sure our team has the capability to handle a large number of messages. At present, our trained control room staff team has a dedicated screen as well as high-speed internet and our members are able to respond quickly to messages sent to them. Upon receiving messages, they either ask questions to gain more clarity on the issue or immediately dispatch a response team if the message contains all the elements required by the controller. We therefore urge our stakeholders to make use of this service by sending us WhatsApp messages which can include text, voice notes, pictures or instant videos to inform us if any issues are identified in the CBD.”Hendricks explains that the decision to use WhatsApp is in line with his department’s efforts to use technology to its greatest advantage.“One needs to move with technology, and the use of WhatsApp will further complement the systems and public safety officers that we already have in place. When messages are sent via WhatsApp, we’ll be able to know exactly what the situation is. For example, if we receive a picture, we’ll be able to disseminate it to our team on the ground so we’re able to positively identify a suspect, as most descriptions received are very broad and can describe probably 20 people in any given area.” V The public can also continue to call the CCID on 082 415 7127.