Dubai Police chief calls for public to only dial 999 in an emergency
The force received 1.6 million 999 calls in three months, with a senior officer asking people to be sure they are in an emergency situation before ringing
Dubai's police chief urged members of the public to only dial 999 when necessary after it was revealed the force fielded more than 1.6 million emergency calls in a period of three months.
Maj Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, commander-in-chief of Dubai Police, said members of the public needed to think carefully about whether their call would be better directed to the non-emergency, 901 number.
Maj Gen Al Marri spoke out during a department performance meeting, in which it was revealed the number of 999 calls made between July and September of this year was down on the corresponding period in 2018, from 1.73 million to 1.64 million.
During the same period the numbers of calls to the 901 number rose from 97,000 last year to more than 121,000 in 2019, indicating the message is slowly getting through.
Of the 121,000 calls made to the 901 call centre during the third quarter of this year, 78,400 were answered within 20 seconds, a slight decrease from 83,600 answered within the same time in 2018.
During a press conference earlier this year, Dubai Police revealed that nearly four million 999 calls made in Dubai in 2018 were not urgent.
Dubai Police received more than 5.3 million calls on its emergency line last year, but a senior officer said 75 per cent of those were not necessary.
The findings prompted police to launch the 'Don't Keep their Lives on Hold' campaign, to ensure people think before they dial.
Major general Kamel Butti Al Suwaidi, director of operations at Dubai Police, said vital resources were being wasted by members of the public.
One elderly resident even dialled 999 to ask police to join him for lunch, as he was feeling lonely.
During the meeting, officials from the Dubai Police Command and Control Centre said the 999 call response team answered the majority of emergency calls within 10 seconds during the third quarter of this year.
The average time for police patrol vehicles to reach the scene of an emergency was 6.3 minutes, with the targeted response time being nine minutes.
The average time for police patrol cars to reach non-emergency scenes was 11.2 minutes, with the targeted response time being 30 minutes.
Updated: October 14, 2019 01:18 PM