Police defend 191 call service
Police on Sunday claimed certain problems had affected the 191 emergency hotline after many people complained they could not reach the 24-hour service or their calls were not being answered.
- Published: 26/05/2013 at 05:53 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
Pol Col Sansern Yamkaesorn, chief of 191 Special Branch Police communications centre, said the problems were caused by a drop in the number of telephone lines available to support incoming calls after the centre was moved to a new office in the building that houses the Traffic Control And Command Centre on Viphavadi Rangsit road last December.
After the relocation, the new contractor which provides phone answering services had only six lines to handle calls, while the former operator had 12 lines. This had reduced the centre’s capability to answer calls by 50 per cent.
"After moving to the new office, we couldn't handle the overall number of incoming calls because the new service provider changed its operating system to digital only. The former contractor had a system that could check incoming calls from every network and system, both analog and digital.
"The new contractor could not record the voices of the callers. They were only able to demonstrate incoming calls last month. We’ve asked them for a record of past emergency calls but have still not received it," Pol Col Sansern said.
Pol Maj Gen Adul Narongsak, deputy chief of Bangkok police, had learned about the problem and ordered that the budget for the 191 police emergency hotline be merged with the funding for the "Miracle Eyes" project in order to improve the efficiency of the communications server and increase the number of phone lines, Pol Col Sansern said.
The Miracle Eyes initiative uses security cameras for crime prevention and suppression.
Police have asked the public to make emergency calls to the Sor Wor Por 91 police radio station (1644), the Jor Sor 100 traffic radio station (1137) and the community radio and mutual aid organisation Ruam Duay Chuay Kan (1677) when 191 cannot be reached.
The 191 Special Branch Police had asked the agencies to help it handle calls and coordinate assistance to the people while it was improving its communications system.
Last year, there were a total of 2,970,693 incoming calls via the 191 hotline. Of these, police received 419,812 emergency calls and 363,698 prank calls, Pol Col Sansern added.
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