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Diana Syahriyanti
Contact Center Departement Head
Vishala Raman
Head of Customer Care

News : 999 Calls Surge, Reflect Reliability


Bagerhat, Bangladesh, June 10, 2024 - After realising her five-year-old child was raped by her neighbour in Bagerhat's Brahmankathi area, a mother called the National Emergency Helpline-999 at March 3 noon.

Sub-inspector Mehedi Hasan Mamun received the call and later directed the local police to take immediate lawful actions.

Soon enough, a police team went to the spot and arrested 40-year-old Labu Sheikh on charges of rape.

Since its launch on December 12, 2017, the helpline has gained nationwide popularity for emergency help in cases of accidents, child marriage, fire incidents, trafficking and violence. It also gets calls for help in recovering lost items and rescuing wild animals.

So far, it succeeded in preventing 27,409 child marriages till February this year.

According to the helpline's database, it received around 17,52,826 emergency calls till April 30 this year. Through those calls, people sought assistance from police, firefighters and ambulance services.

In 2018, it received only 49,719 calls for emergency services.

However, within a year, the number of calls rose to 1,34,113, and in 2020, it hit 2,31,205. Since then, it has kept going up.

In the first quarter of this year, the helpline already received 1,82,226 calls.

On March 24 this year, the helpline got a call from Patuakhali to recover a fishing cat stuck in the locality. The caller requested immediate rescue so that people do not get the chance to harm the animal.

On information, local police rushed there, rescued the cat and then handed it over to the forest department.

On March 27, Saudi expatriate Momin Sheikh, 45, lost his bag with his passport and tickets inside while traveling to Dhaka on Dhumketu Express from Bangabandhu Bridge East Railway Station.

Once the information reached 999, the call tracker informed the railway police control room and Tangail railway police outpost. A woman named Hazera Begum, 40, found the bag, and informed the police, who then handed it over to Momin.

Inspector Anwar Sattar, spokesperson for the helpline, told The Daily Star, "People now have confidence in 999, and that's why we are getting calls more than ever before. For instance, few would complain about loud noises late at night because they would have to go to a police station. Now anyone can report it just by calling this toll-free number.

"We also have an enquiry feedback section where people can file complaints if they are not satisfied with our service."

He added that so far, they have received 40,59,604 calls in the feedback section. "Based on the validity of the complaints, we take appropriate actions."


According to recent data from the helpline, there has been a significant rise in calls across six service categories: sound pollution, fire incidents, medical emergencies, physical violence or fights, violence against women and accidents.

Most of the calls were related to fights over land disputes, money lending and other social feuds, mainly from rural areas.

In 2023 alone, the helpline received 94,135 calls regarding such disputes. In 2022, the number was 73,084. The trend continues with 37,273 such calls already logged in the first quarter of this year.

Medical emergencies and ambulance services follow closely behind, with 30,285 calls recorded in 2023; 27,624 in 2022, and 11,872 calls in the first quarter of this year.

Fire emergencies rank third with 30,160 reported calls in 2023, up from 24,460 the year before. The first quarter of this year received 14,311 such calls.

Sound pollution complaints, especially during festive seasons and wedding celebrations, garnered the fourth-highest volume of calls, totaling 30,021 in 2023 and 20,561 in 2022.

Instances of various forms of violence against women, including dowry-related issues, domestic abuse, sexual or other kinds of harassment, also remain high, with 25,090 calls reported in 2023, reflecting an increase from 20,251 the year before.

The first quarter of this year witnessed 9,287 calls.

Meanwhile, calls to report accidents finished the list with 22,604 reported incidents in 2023 and 22,125 in 2022. The first quarter of this year saw 8,649 accident-related calls.


At present, the 999 helpline has 100 workstations and can receive 120 calls at a time.

"We've already gotten the approval to set up another 100 workstations in Purbachal and received an allocation from the home ministry," Mohammad Tabarak Ullah, additional deputy inspector general of police, also the chief of the national emergency helpline, told The Daily Star.

"We are hopeful about completing the setup within the next fiscal year, and then we will be able to provide services to more people."

Additionally, separate phones were installed in 294 police stations as part of improving services and increasing capacity. "This way, we can reach local police stations without delay. We'll gradually install the phone line in all the 600 police stations across the country."

Tabark Ullah further said the government recently approved 999 as a separate unit of Bangladesh Police with a manpower of 549.

"The public administration ministry already approved the helpline as a separate unit. We now await the final approval from the finance ministry. Once approved, we will have our separate force, place and administration with a deputy inspector general as the chief."

He said the helpline will become more efficient with updated software soon after becoming a separate unit, and will be able to provide up-to-date services to the people.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - Customers Wary Of Fraud Calls

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2024

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2024 Buyers Guide IVR

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DID Live is an IP DID service that allows you to accept incoming calls via VoIP as an alternative to standard digital or analog lines. The service provides the same quality of sound you expect from...
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