10111 no help during holdup

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10111 no help during holdup

Postby Leitmotif » Wed, 2006-11-08 15:11


10111 no help during holdup

November 08 2006 at 02:46PM

By Leila Samodien

When Reyaat Petersen found himself in an armed robbery situation, he immediately called 10111 to report the emergency several times - but was met with a dead tone or told to hold on.

Petersen said he had gone to Check Out, a shop in 6th Avenue Belgravia, with his daughter and brother-in-law, Zaynoel Bawa, on Sunday at about 6pm.

Four armed men had stormed into the supermarket and held up customers and staff at gunpoint.

Petersen and his family members managed to slip into the shop's freezer to hide and call the police.

He said he phoned the police emergency number, 10111, about four times, but every time he called, the phone either went dead after a few seconds or the operator told him to hold and "had to listen to music" for minutes before he gave up.

Police spokesperson Captain Randall Stoffels confirmed that two calls were received, but said there were "promptly answered by the operators in less than four seconds".

Petersen acknowledged that an operator had picked up on some of their calls, but said they were put on hold before they could explain the situation.

Stoffels said emergency line operators were often kept busy because of prank calls.

o This article was originally published on page 6 of Cape Argus on November 08, 2006

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