Min­is­ter pleads pub­lic to end prank calls to emer­gency line

The Myanmar Times - - News - NAY AUNG nayaung@mm­times.com

THE Min­is­ter for Se­cu­rity and Bor­der Af­fairs in Magwe Re­gion is call­ing on the pub­lic to stop mak­ing phony calls to an emer­gency hot­line fol­low­ing a re­cent spike in bo­gus re­ports.

“199 [the emer­gency num­ber] is for peo­ple who are ac­tu­ally in trou­ble so that we can pro­vide them with the as­sis­tance they need quickly … Be­cause of the num­ber of prank calls we are re­ceiv­ing, there is a danger that some­one in a real emer­gency may not be able to get through to us be­cause the line is busy. That de­lay could make a real dif­fer­ence to them,” said Min­is­ter Colonel Naing Oo.

The 199 emer­gency line has op­er­ated in all Magwe town­ships since 2000. But the large vol­ume of prank calls is a re­cent phe­nom­e­non, said the head of the re­gion’s po­lice force, Po­lice Lieu­tenant Colonel Min Han.

“Some peo­ple call 199 with­out any rea­son, just for a joke. Based on their calls, we send pa­trols out to set­tle the sup­posed is­sues. When these pa­trols ar­rive, they find that noth­ing has ac­tu­ally taken place,” Pol Lt Col Min Han said.

“The in­creas­ing num­ber of prank calls is mak­ing things dif­fi­cult for us. When real in­ci­dents oc­cur and our po­lice are late, we will be the ones who are blamed,” he said.

Lt Col Min Han added that in spite of the prank calls, at this point, there had been no in­stances in which po­lice had been de­layed in re­spond­ing to a real emer­gency be­cause of a false re­port.

In July, Yan­gon po­lice launched an emer­gency po­lice hot­line as a crime pre­ven­tion mea­sure, and to make it eas­ier to re­port crimes and call for help. Within one week the line was flooded with jokesters. About 120 calls were re­ceived over the course of a week. Of those, 50 were prank calls, and another 30 pro­vided false in­for­ma­tion. Only one-third of the calls, about 40, rep­re­sented a proper use of the fa­cil­ity, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, who begged the pub­lic to knock off the pranks.

– Trans­la­tion by Zaw Nyunt

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.