City of Cape Town to get tough on prank callers

2016-06-16 11:39
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The City of Cape Town is planning to track down and prosecute prank callers, it said in a statement on Thursday. 

The City's Public Emergency Communications Centre receives an average of 280 prank calls a day, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith said.

"The calls range from emergency hoaxes to the vilest verbal abuse, but also, more disturbingly, calls of a very perverse nature.

"It is unacceptable that our operators who are there to do a very serious job have to endure this type of abuse with no recourse except to cut the call. It is also very unfair and potentially life-threatening to people with real emergencies who cannot get through or who are kept waiting because pranksters are clogging the lines," he said. 

Of the 532 682 calls answered by emergency operators in 2015, 102 217, or 20%, were prank calls.

Monthly statistics revealed an overage of just over 8 500 prank calls a month, with spikes in January, April and August.

Smith said that children were routinely blamed for the calls, but adults also abused the system, often with sexually explicit calls.

"Our system allows us to pick up exactly where the call is coming from, but it's tricky when the perpetrator is using a public telephone," Smith said.

"I have instructed the City's Special Investigations Unit to extract information on the top 10 habitual offenders and lay charges in terms of national legislation that makes such prank and hoax calls to an emergency call centre an offence.

"A few well-publicised convictions will serve as a good deterrent if we can get them," said Smith.

Read more on:    city of cape town  |  cape town

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.