Police dispatch system stumbles over unlisted numbers

Emergency calls from unlisted numbers and those with number blocking are not being picked up by the new police computer dispatch system.

Emergency calls from unlisted numbers and those with number blocking are not being picked up by the new police computer dispatch system.

Deputy police commissioner Barry Matthews told Parliament’s Justice and Law Reform Committee last week that although the new CARD (computer assisted resource deployment) system uses Telecom’s caller display as a way of speeding up police response to emergency calls, if the call is from an unlisted number, or if the owner of that phone has opted for the number blocking option, the number does not appear on the screen in police dispatch rooms.

The system includes a geographical information system that can pinpoint where a call is coming from.

Matthews says that for public safety reasons the police would like an override facility, and officials are at present negotiating with Telecom to provide that.

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