Prank Calls Make Emergency Management Tough ― Police

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The Ghana Police Service Emergency Command Centre in Accra, spends about 90 per cent of its bandwidth attending to hoax callers.

This disturbing figure has been a major worry to the police since it depends on some of these calls for its daily operations and activities.

With only 10 call systems at its disposal, the centre attends to thousands of calls, however, the high number of prank callers have negatively impacted the service’s daily work.

This disclosure was made when the Police gave some members of the press a tour of its Operations Department, at the Police Headquarters in Accra, last Wednesday.

The tour was part of a one-day forum organised to highlight the importance of Police-Media Relations and the Safety of Journalists.

As at 2:49pm when the Journalists visited the emergency call centre, about 849 calls had been made but only 20 of those calls representing 2.4 percent were real emergency cases and had received consideration from the police.

It was therefore not a surprise that at our visit, a caller called asking for call credit and another proposing love to the call agent on duty.

Lance Corporal Hamidu Sadat, a technical and radio operator at the centre therefore urged the public to desist from placing prank calls to the police.

According to them, the lives of many people may be dependent on these emergency numbers and prankers may as well be blocking the chance of others from receiving aid.

To identify a pranker, L/cpl Sadat said an offenders’ numbers are closely monitored and upon repeat of the prank, they are immediately blacklisted.

But in the near future, the Sevice hopes to lawfully bring to books culprits using a GPS locator which is currently in the offing.

The location-based system is expected to promptly identify callers immediately they call the police emergency numbers―191 or 18555.

The tour also revealed to journalist a well-organized Dispatcher Centre―a control room that quickly sends policemen to emergency scenes.

In that same room, the numerous CCTVs spread across the country are monitored―checking for speed limits of vehicle, monitoring resources and generally ensuring the safety of lives and property.

Call centres

The call centre drives the response of the police to emergencies like robberies, disasters and the like.

The centre in Accra has 10 systems and handles, Greater Accra, Volta, Central, and Western regions while the Centre in Kumasi with 5 systems manages Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Eastern regions.

The Tamale centre has three call systems and cares for the three Northern regions.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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