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Fed up with daily 15,000 blank calls Delhi Police takes action
Recently, a prank call made Gurgaon Police run around for two hours to search for a Delhi-based realtor and his son. Unproductive calls like these have also burdened Delhi Police with extra work. To free themselves from these unproductive calls, Delhi Police is working towards separating their emergency number from many such unproductive calls, Special Commissioner Operations, Delhi Police, Mr T.N. Mohan, told this citizen journalist.

Though there are not many such hoax or prank calls coming to Delhi police but around 10,000 to 15,000 blank and enquiry calls come daily to Delhi Police on their emergency number 100. As per Mohan, Delhi Police and every person of Delhi police wastes 108 hours daily collectively while attending these calls. So from March 4, Delhi Police is separating enquiry lines from emergency line, which requires quick action.

"From this coming Monday we are separating these two lines because we are unable to act efficiently on emergency calls because of this. Also, we are increasing our team from 40 to 100 men and from 2 to 10 policewomen who can take swift and efficient action on any emergency calls." Though for now number 100 will be the same but option of emergency and inquiry will be added. "We are working to have different number for enquiries but that needs to be publicized among people only then our problem will be solved."

Right now not much prank or hoax calls are coming to us but our major problem is blank calls which are really wasting our time. People don't do hoax calls out of fear that we can hold them and punish them, that is why it is very rare," said Mohan.

He then mentioned the latest case where a person who had to catch a flight to Patna and gave a hoax call to Indigo Airlines that it had a bomb - so that flight was delayed. "We tracked him in Patna and arrested him and also filed a criminal case against him," said Mohan.

Though he agreed that there are many calls that are informative but when they go to the spot they find nothing serious. "This is possible that anybody sees any suspicious bag and then calls us and when we go there and found nothing but we can not take chance and have to take action," Mohan added.

Mohan gave many reasons behind these kinds of calls. He said one of the reasons is that when people buy new mobiles then many of them try emergency numbers listed but are not activated on their cell even without a sim card. "They dial 100 number and after listening to our welcome message they realise that they have called police control room. But they don't speak out of fear and disconnect the call. But no matter how fast we attend and disconnect these calls it takes at least 10 -15 seconds for each such call. Now, you can calculate how much time is wasted while handling these calls," Mohan said.

"We are now even looking for a system or technique through which can we even track these calls also as they also some times can be important and emergency calls," said Mohan. "Sometimes, it may happen that a person is not speaking on call because of facing a threat or is at gun point or is in danger - so we have to tackle these calls to know the real situation," he added.

Another reason he mentioned for the increasing number of unproductive call are inquiry calls from all over the city. "People are calling in control room for inquiring number of water department, power department or any government office. This has really became a hard time for us to handle these calls. As a public servant we can't say 'no' to them but to give them another number where they can inquire. But this process is taking lots of our time," he said.

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