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MTN Launches Emergency Telephone Numbers   
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Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye, Inspector General of Police on Wednesday warned Ghanaians against raising false alarm and the abuse of emergency telephone numbers because such acts were criminal and that offenders would be prosecuted.

He noted that some people out of mischief used the emergency telephone numbers to raise false alarm leading to waste of resources, frustration of the rapid response team thus defeat the concept of the service. Mr Quaye gave the warning at the launch of emergency telephone numbers to fight crime. The special crime fighter's telephone short code is "18555".

It was an initiative by the management of Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN), Ghana Police Service (GPS), British High Commission and the German Embassy to support government's quest to make the nation peaceful and stable to attract foreign investment and promote socio-economic development.

The 24-hour, seven-day service (24/7), would enable the public to use the number to report any criminal offence and lodge complaints from anywhere in the country for prompt response. Users cannot be identified but cash rewards would be given to those who provide useful information to arrest criminals. Mr. Quaye noted that the police relied on informants for information to fight crime but most of them did not have enough money to buy credits to communicate with the police.

"Research has also shown that the 10 digits telephone numbers are not easily recollected by victims because they would have been traumatised but the new numbers would be a relief to the public and the police,' he said. He appealed to the media to educate the public especially children to avoid the abuse of the emergency telephone numbers.

Mr. Quaye said the police was constrained by inadequate logistics to discharge its responsibilities of maintaining peace and order in the country and called on corporate bodies to assist them. He expressed appreciation to the partners for their assistance towards crime prevention.

Mr. Matthew Johnson, Acting British High Commissioner, said the emergency telephone numbers had helped to reduce crime related case like murder, kidnapping, physical violence and rape drastically in the United Kingdom (UK). He noted that the responsibility of maintaining peace and stability in the country should not be left to the government alone but should be a shared responsibility between the government and private sector.

Mr. Brett Goschen, Chief Executive Officer of MTN, said the company's contribution was part of its social responsibility towards crime prevention and the nation's development. He said the company would cater for the training of personnel to operate the service and provide marketing support to ensure its success. "Bringing the crime fighter's initiative to Ghana is certainly an innovation and MTN is proud to support the police in such a worthy cause," he added.

Source: GNA

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