In South Africa we have two types of police. We have national police (the SAPS) and metropolitan police (Metro). The SAPS is funded from the national budget, whereas the Metro police are funded by local government. Metro has its own management structure and priorities whereas the SAPS has the consistent national priority of crime prevention and investigation of crime.
Metro police are tasked with predominantly policing municipal bylaws such as traffic laws and laws regarding loitering, vending, prostitution, vagrancy and noise pollution.
The telephone number of your local Metro police is handy for reporting someone running a business illegally from a house, barking dogs, loitering, etc. These can be dealt with by the SAPS, but Metro are actually the appropriate channel for dealing with these matters.
So, if a municipal bylaw is being transgressed, Metro are the right people to call. If a crime has been committed, call the SAPS.
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