BENGALURU: If you want to contact a helpline, be it a child, women’s or elders’ one, or want to fix an appointment with the local police inspector, simply call 100. While 100 is the city police number, it will soon work as a one-point contact for the public.
The idea is to reduce multiple helplines and integrate them as one, especially as the city police is better connected by a hundred phone lines. On Thursday, Bengaluru city police wrote a letter to BSNL asking to map and merge the helplines under 100.
This major step was taken after several complaints from the public that they were not able to reach helplines due to lack of multiple connections. This is the first-of-its kind initiative in the country where one helpline will address many issues under one number. This model is in place in metropolitan cities like London (999) and New York (911) where public can access many agencies using just one number.
With Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) in place, the caller will automatically get connected to the respective operators who in return will alert the authority concerned for assistance. Earlier, agencies were the first to be informed and police would be informed only if they needed security.
Also, there have been complaints of unavailability of local police officials to the public for various issues such as passport verification and reportage of any crime. Public who call 100 helpline will be connected to the local police, who will be on conference call. The personnel will fix the appointment or assign a relevant officer for the job. This is to ensure that public don’t wait in police stations for endless hours and return without meeting a police official.
City Police Commissioner Praveen Sood told Express, “In the first phase, we ensure the upgradation of dial 100 works well. In the second phase we are merging women, children and elders’ helpline. It will be operational in a couple of days. In two or three weeks, dial 100 will take calls to fix appointments with the local police on non-emergency issues like passport verification and others.”
Fire and ambulance under 100 too
Sood added that police have plans to bring fire and emergency services and ambulance under 100 and the work is in progress.
Bengaluru city police receives around 3,000 distress calls every day which works out to two calls every minute. The response time for the call has been reduced to 15 seconds after upgrading it to 100 lines with 300 outsourced employees working in three shifts.