• Have you ever taught about your car’s safety when you are involved in a vehicle crash? Will you and your loved ones be protected in as far as it is possible? Refer to the article published on pp 14 -16 in Servamus: January 2020 to determine the NCAP safety rating of many cars on SA’s roads.

    Have you ever taught about your car’s safety when you are involved in a vehicle crash? Will you and your loved ones be protected in as far as it is possible? Refer to the article published on pp 14 -16 in Servamus: January 2020 to determine the NCAP safety rating of many cars on SA’s roads.

  • We all have a responsibility to create a safer world for our children – that includes on our roads. Sadly, vehicle crashes are some of the leading causes for child deaths. Walk This Way is a ChildSafe intervention project that aims to address child pedestrian safety – refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 34-35 giving more details.

    We all have a responsibility to create a safer world for our children – that includes on our roads. Sadly, vehicle crashes are some of the leading causes for child deaths. Walk This Way is a ChildSafe intervention project that aims to address child pedestrian safety – refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 34-35 giving more details.

  • Many people opt to go on a boat cruise for a holiday. Yet, there are many aspects that can affect the passengers and crew’s safety necessitating such cruise liners to have adequately trained security personnel. Refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 30-32 about what is done to mitigate treats to such cruise liners.

    Many people opt to go on a boat cruise for a holiday. Yet, there are many aspects that can affect the passengers and crew’s safety necessitating such cruise liners to have adequately trained security personnel. Refer to the article in Servamus: January 2020 on pp 30-32 about what is done to mitigate treats to such cruise liners.

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Compiled by Kotie Geldenhuys

Many people grew up without the Internet and the excitement of social media, but platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and WhatsApp opened up a whole new world of communication to millions of people. Clement (2019) argues that the number of worldwide social network users is expected to grow from 2.65 billion in 2018 to around 3.02 billion in 2021, around a third of the entire global population. As Internet access and smartphone use expand worldwide, social media use shows no signs of slowing down. Social media however doesn’t always have to be entertaining: it can also be an excellent policing tool.

The use of social media platforms continues to rise, not only by the general public but criminals also use social media to communicate, cause and promote crimes online. Law enforcement has responded by using social media and associated technology as crime fighting tools. In addition to fighting domestic crimes via social media, law enforcement agencies have leveraged the information to fight terrorists who use social media as recruitment tools, often via technology that disguises their online activities (Jones, 2017).

A way to communicate
Social media created new opportunities for the police, not only to communicate with the community about wanted suspects, missing persons and to share success, but also to collect evidence and solve crimes. It provides the police with unprecedented access to the public, and vice versa. Via Facebook and Twitter, the police and the public can communicate in real time with one another about incidents and events. Social media also transforms how the police manage the visibility of their personnel and activities. Walsh and O’Connor (2018) note that law enforcement agencies use social media for the purposes of risk communication, impression management and soliciting assistance. According to MacGilllivray (2018), some of the benefits of tweeting, posting and sharing information by law enforcement agencies include:

  • The sharing of real time information as police departments are using the immediacy of social media to their advantage to quickly and succinctly notify the public about anything from protests in progress to police activities. A brief tweet from police about an incident can immediately be retweeted to keep more people informed to avoid an area.
  • The enlistment of the public’s help as the police can also use the amplification power of their followers to distribute sketches or photos of suspects, security camera footage and details about missing children and the elderly. The chances of reaching someone who recognises the person the police are looking for increases with every re-tweet and shared post.
  • The obtaining of information as social media also makes it possible to track criminal activity.
  • Law enforcement officers are able to share details and perspectives directly with the public via social media to cut out the middleman (such as the media) who might change the details.
  • The sharing of successes by sharing photos of firearms and drugs removed from the streets and even posting pictures of hard working law enforcement officials that would normally not get too much recognition, can be a positive public relations exercise. This method is regarded as a friendlier version of law enforcement to the public who sometimes do not have a positive opinion of law enforcers.

Social media communications also attempt to enlist citizens in the detection and reporting of criminal events. They are mobilised as additional "eyes and ears" through social media platforms in cases where authorities release posters of wanted or missing persons or provide safety tips. As this encourages public vigilance, law enforcement simultaneously enhance their reach and knowledge. Given their reliance on voluntary participation and individuals' desire to help, the success of these arrangements hinges on public trust and support (Walsh and O’Connor, 2018).

A source of evidence
The omnipresence of mobile devices in our daily lives and our use thereof to access social media platforms, creates an unlimited source of evidence which can be relevant to criminal investigations. Investigating officers have become highly skilled in locating and retrieving evidence from social media platforms. Whether they surf the Internet to identify open source information or use subpoenas and search warrants to retrieve information through legal processes, law enforcement agencies have utilised evidence from social media sources to identify suspects, locate witnesses and convict defendants. As the number of individuals using social media continues to increase and the volume of digital evidence contained on social media platforms and in social media accounts grows, the challenge for law enforcement becomes bigger in how to efficiently collect, process and analyse the evidence in an effective and timely manner (Hamrick, 2019).

As social media are embedded in the flow of everyday life, they offer permanent, searchable and remotely accessible archives of previously private details and occurrences. Alongside helping to clear cases where criminals have, quite illogically, bragged about or documented their exploits online, public or semi-public content can supplement and verify other evidentiary material (such as alibis), providing new justification for offline interventions (Walsh and O’Connor, 2018). Social media can help to provide police with a host of information they may not have otherwise discovered, as well as with new witnesses.

Widely use by police
LexisNexis (2014) states that more than 80% of police departments in the USA actively use social media as an investigation tool and there is compelling evidence on how social media aids the process. Some of the law enforcement officers who participated in this study said the following:

  • "I authored a search warrant on multiple juveniles’ Facebook accounts and located evidence showing them in the location in (the) commission of a hate crime burglary. Facebook photos showed the suspects inside the residence committing the crime. It led to a total of six suspects arrested for multiple felonies along with four outstanding burglaries and six unreported burglaries."

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[This is only an extract of an article published in Servamus: November 2019 from pp 52-56. The rest of the article informs us about more creative ways in which the police are using social media to find witnesses; information or solve crime; whether there are any policing issues or issues in court relating to the use of social media and we conclude with a warning for citizens. If you are interested in obtaining the rest of the article, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (012) 345 4660 to find out how. Ed.]

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Servamus - January 2020

It is just after 05:00 in a cold, windy and rainy Cape Town when the packed train pulls onto platform three.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
One of the very sad consequences of every holiday season is the high number of vehicle crashes happening on our roads - not only resulting in people losing loved ones, but also leaving many drivers and passengers seriously injured or even disabled.
By Annalise Kempen
A lot is being said and written about vehicle fitness and road-worthiness, but what about your own fitness to drive a vehicle?
By Annalise Kempen
In South Africa, fatalities due to vehicle crashes are a major contributor to unnatural deaths impacting negatively on our economic development and growth.
By Kotie Geldenhuys

Pollex - January 2020

Read More - S V Nkosinathi Gama Review No: R40/2019 dated 19 July 2019 (FB)*; S V Bam 2019(2) SACR 662 (FB)*; and S V Phuzi 2019(2) SACR 648 (FB)*
Section 59 of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 (“the NRTA”) provides as follows:
Read More – Moyo and Another V Minister of Police and Others; Sonti and Another V Minister of Police and Others (CCT 174/18; CCT 178/18) [2019] ZACC 40 (22 October 2019) (CC)
Introduction Certain provisions of the Intimidation Act 72 of 1982 were recently referred to our Constitutional Court (“the Concourt”) in order to challenge their constitutionality.

Letters - January 2020

We salute Brig Mauritz "Happy" Schutte who was born on 4 September 1951, but was called for higher duties to be with his Lord and Saviour, our God Almighty on 9 October 2019, succumbing to the illness of cancer.
There is talk of forcing pension onto members at the age of 55, with no talk of any adjustments for the Public Service Act employees who can still build pension up to the age of 65.
January Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.