During the first six months of the year, 21.3 million pranksters picked up the phone and made a 911 call. They did it as a joke.
They were among 61.63 million people who used the new emergency number between January and June, 88.9% of whom did so improperly, the Interior Secretariat reported yesterday. The jokers represented 34.7% of the total.
Th percentage of improper calls is down, but only very slightly, from the 89.7% received by the old 066 system, which was fully replaced in January.
In the first half of this year, just 11.1% of the calls were for genuine emergencies, 70% of those security-related. Calls are classified in four categories — security, medical, civil protection and public services.
Of the 54.8 million calls deemed improper, 18% of callers hung up and a small percentage – 3.4 – were reported to be false alarms.
The new system was introduced to reduce response times through the effective, prompt and coordinated handling of emergency calls to authorities at all three levels of government.
It utilizes some 200 call centers throughout the country