By Neil Halligan
Police look to raise awareness about the 901 number for non-emergency calls
Dubai Police have said its 999 emergency call centre received just over 1.4 million calls during the first six months of the year, an increase of 18 percent on last year.
Of the 1,405,286 calls received at the centre, 97 percent were answered within ten second by operators, with the remaining calls answered within 20 seconds, Col Omar Abdullah Al Shamsi, director of the department said.
The average response time for the arrival of emergency services to incidents was 9 minutes and 37 seconds during the first half of this year.
Al Shamsi said the calls were answered by an average of 20 operators in the call centre.
“If you compare, in Dubai city, one of the smaller cities in the world... with London city, London is almost 2.4 million calls in one year,” he told The National newspaper.
“Of course it’s a good performance to answer this many calls. Do you know how many call takers we have to answer these 1.4 million? There are 20 call takers around the clock. There is an average of 20 call takers.”
He said there was an issue of non-emergency calls received on the 999 line, and he stressed that members of the public should only call in emergency situations.
“We need to pass this to the public – please do not call 999 unless you know that you are in an emergency situation,” he said. “Anything that you feel is an emergency, please call us. But for enquiries, don’t call,” he added.
There is a free phone number – 901 – that deals with non-emergency calls and Dubai Police have been active in raising public awareness about the new number, Al Shamsi said.
The 901 call centre received a total of 44,556 calls in the first half of this year, compared to 30,951 during the same period in 2013.
The average response time for arrival at incidents processed by 901 operators during the first half of this year was just over 12 minutes.