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Police helpline received 90pc prank calls last year

August 22, 2012

– AFP File  Photo

KARACHI: Despite a general impression that the police helpline, Madadgar-15, mostly remains non-responsive, a staggering 90 per cent calls made to it during 2011 were recorded as prank calls while only 2.38pc of the calls were genuine, it emerged on Wednesday.

A total of 5,907,545 calls were made to the police helpline, making an average of 16,782 calls daily.

Meanwhile, the police authorities plan to increase the helpline response centres from 15 to 30, officials told Dawn.

Data gathered for the year 2011 showed that 5,349,809 calls, or 90pc of the total, prank calls were made at the helpline, and only 140,857 (2.38pc) calls were genuine.

Similarly, there were 413,736 (7pc) missed calls recorded at the helpline during the year. Around 3,143 (0.05pc) were repeat calls, the data showed. Moreover, 68,458 (1.15pc) callers sought inquires.

Likewise, 26,819 (0.53pc) calls were made to give information about crime. Similarly, 21,085 (0.35pc) were distress calls and 24,495 (0.41pc) calls passed information to the police last year.

Data suggested that people chose the helpline to make inquiries, and such calls during the year numbered 1,445,152.

As many as 22,416 complaints were regarding local fights and quarrels while 19,946 complaints pertained to what the data described as social disturbances and family disputes.

At least, 18,265 incidents of vehicle snatching and theft were reported to the helpline during last year.

As many as 16,693 robbery incidents were reported to the helpline. Callers reported 14,279 incidents of firing in their respective areas. Unlike the previous set up, when the helpline was set on de-centralised lines, in each district, a centralised office of 15 had been working at the Central Police Office, a senior police officer said.

Although the helpline has been centralised, there are still persistent complaints about non-attendance of distress calls, lazy and lethargic attitude of the telephone operators and late response by the police, officials said.

They, however, said the helpline work had improved after centralisation. They said there was a shortage of staff at the Madadgar-15 call centre which was also hampering work.

At present there are 15 response centres having as many vans. Similarly, 30 motorcycles have also been allotted to them.

At a recent meeting headed by Sindh IG Fayyaz Leghari, it was decided that the number of 15 centres would be doubled. During the meeting, Additional IG for Karachi Iqbal Mehmood said the 15 centres should be increased to at least 30 within a month.

He said while increasing the number of response centres, the locations should be carefully chosen to make them effective.