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29 February 2024

Dubai Police SOS calls: A touch that goes wrong

By Mohammed El Sadafy

Though otherwise very useful, smartphones sometimes hinder the working of the police’s operations room, says Brigadier Omar Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Director, Command and Control Centre, Dubai Police.

According to Brigadier Al Shamsi, some smartphones have an emergency icon on their desktops and many users touch this icon by mistake which connects them instantly with the police’s ‘999’ room.

Dubai Police received as many as 49,105 emergency calls by mistake out of the total of 568,279 calls to ‘999’ last year. Such callers usually apologise as soon as the call is answered, saying they touched or pressed the emergency icon by mistake, Al Shamsi added.

However, the ‘SOS’ icon helps the police to locate the caller and thus help the police to reach the place quickly, he added.

The operations rooms aims to respond to 97 per cent of all emergency calls within 10 seconds or three telephone rings and reach the place of emergency within 15 minutes, he said.

Brigadier Al Shamsi called on the public to be careful while using their smartphones so that the operations room’s work is not delayed or hampered. All ‘999’ calls are seen and treated as emergencies, he added.

Mistaken ‘999’ calls could delay police response to a real emergency call which could cause loss of human lives, Al Shamsi said.