News : Abusive Callers Give Helpline Operators a Tough Time
Gurgaron, Haryana India, July 20, 2014 -- The police control room and women's cell get around 500 blank calls and 100 abusive calls every month.
Police said there were two types of callers who make such calls. "People often make abusive calls to the helpline number in a drunken state. And then there are callers who make repeated blank calls to trouble the officials," said Shyam Sunder, in charge of the police control room.
It is particularly difficult for women cops to deal with such a situation. "We receive such calls almost every day. Such callers do not realize that they are talking to the police. We report it to our seniors but usually our male colleagues come to our rescue by taking those calls and warning them," said Kavita, a woman helpline operator, who has been working on the helpline for the last two years.
"While blank calls come throughout the day, most of the abusive calls come in the evening or at night. Obviously, such calls disturb us. But we can't help it as it is part of our job. I'd like people to be a little sensitive and understand that we are also part of the same society," said another operator.
A resident of Sector 7, who did not want to be named, said her maid had called the police control room from her landline and abused the helpline operator to settle scores with us and later fled the house. "She knew police would take action. The next day we got a call from the police station and it took us a week to trace the maid," she said.
The callers are generally not afraid to utter abuses when they are talking to police but they can easily be traced. "With the help of the cybercrime cell, we can easily trace the name, address and location of the caller. At first the callers are warned through SMSs and calls. However, if such calls continue then the number is sent to the cybercrime cell and legal action is taken against them," said Alok Mittal, police commissioner.
Rakshit Tondon, a cyber security expert from the cybercrime cell, explained that the police helpline was an easy target for such calls. "All service providers offer the facility to dial helpline numbers even if the caller doesn't have enough balance in his/her account. Besides, one can dial 100 even when the phone is locked. But it is not easy to escape," he said. So far this year, only three to four FIRs have been lodged against such callers.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2014