Reporting Common Crimes

Learn how to report common crimes such as domestic violence, corruption, child abuse and sexual offences and gain access to emergency contact numbers.

General Overview

South Africa has some of the highest crime rates in the world.  This makes the job of the South African Police Service (SAPS) very difficult.  Citizens can assist the police by reporting any crime that they witness or are the victim of.

Any person in South Africa can report a crime at their nearest police station or by calling 10111 if it is an emergency,

At the police station, the officers will assist a person reporting a crime through the process and will then give them a case number.

If a person wants to report crimes anonymously, they should do so by calling Crime Stop on 08600 10111 that is available 24/7. 

Note: This number may not be used for emergencies.

Children

Bullying, sexual assaults and domestic violence against children is very prominent in South Africa.* Bullying takes form in different ways and can be manifested in verbal or physical abuse. It often leads to the victim feeling like it is their fault and puts them at risk of mental health issues. A child who is a victim of bullying should ensure that they report it to an adult or to the police station. As scary as it feels, it is important to do so. The bully will often become more aggressive if their offences are not reported to an adult or the police who will ensure all the necessary measures are taken. This can be done on 10111. 

*Please refer to the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence sections for more information.

Corruption

Corruption is a crime that does not only hurt the organisation in which it occurs, but the South African economy as a whole. A number of corruption cases are left unreported because of a fear that the informer may be isolated and tracked down. South Africa allows for anonymous reporting of corruption incidents and is very good at keeping informers protected

What is needed?

The following information will be requested from the informer or victim:

  • The name or identification of the offender;
  • The contact details of the offender;
  • The position of authority of the offender;
  • The allegation against the offender; and 
  • The details of other people involved in the alleged commission of the offence(s). 

The person will then be allocated to a unique reference number. The team will then investigate the allegation. The informant can call the department with their unique reference number to follow-up about the progress of the investigation. 

Reporting corruption

An informer may report their complaint at the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) where they will have to fill in the Acknowledgment form ‘A’ and Receipt form ‘B’.

A complaint may also be directed to Corruption Watch by filling in their online complaint form at:

https://www.corruptionwatch.org.za/report-corruption/.

Domestic Violence

A person who has been a victim or a witness of domestic violence may either apply for a protection order and report the crime to the nearest police station.*  A person should rest assured that from the moment they report their complaint, they will be provided with adequate protection.

 * Please visit the Domestic Violence section for a detailed guide on how to apply for a protection order and report the crime.

Sexual Offences

Sexual offences are very prominent and serious in South Africa. It is an offence that violates the victim’s Constitutional rights of bodily integrity, privacy and dignity . It affects not only the victim but also their relatives and children involved. Every citizen has a duty to report a sexual offence when they are a victim or a witness of the crime. Failure to do so by witnesses may constitute an offence.

Note: It will not be held against a victim if they do not report a sexual offence immediately.

Reporting a sexual offence

A victim or witness may report the crime at the nearest police station or by calling on 10111. Note:A person may report a sexual offence even if it occurred a long time ago. 

Step 1: Interview Process

The victim will be interviewed by an investigator at the police station. They may be accompanied by any person of their choice for support and strength during the process. The following details should be given to the investigator: 

  • The place where the offence was committed; 
  • The nature of the offence;
  • The manner in which it was committed;
  • The first person that the victim contacted before they reported it to the police; 
  • As many details as possible describing the offender; and
  • As many details as possible about the witnesses and evidence available.

Step 2: Medical Examination

The victim will then undergo a medical examination at the expense of the state. This is done in order to ensure that the victim is safe and to gather evidence. A medical examination can be done even 72 hours after the offence.

Step 3: Case Docket

The details will then be recorded in a file at the police station and the victim will receive a unique reference code to follow up with the progress of the investigation. 

What if the victim is a child?

The Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit investigates these matters in the procedure as mentioned above. Health care services facilities will also be made available to the child. Note: Cases concerning children do not contain any particulars of their identification.

Emergency Contact Numbers

The following numbers are available for those in emergencies; do not hesitate to call at any time of day!

 

Crime Stop - 08600 10111

 

South African Police Service - 10111

 

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) - 012 846 4590 or CorruptionReports@saps.gov.za

 

Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) -  012 393 2107