ZAMBIA Police Service needs adequate support to effectively deliver services with the restoration of the 991 toll free line.
Political activist Lonely Tatila said there was need for Government and other stakeholders to support the police service with adequate transport for them to carry out operations.
Mr Tatila said the police initiative to restore the 991 toll free line was a welcome move to fight the high crime rate that has resulted from ineffective policing including delayed response to crime alerts.
“It is great that the toll free line is being worked on to help fight the high crime rate in many parts of Zambia, but if you call the police and they have no transport to rush to the crime scene, then the effort is useless.
“This is a good initiative that requires total support from Government and the private sector in terms of transport because most of the time police have had no transport to follow up information on crime in their respective areas,” he said.
He explained that the toll free call service must be supported by adequate transport and logistics for the delivery of efficient services.
And Mr Tatila has called for more sensitization to popularize the “991” number together with the other emergency numbers like the “993” fire alert service number and the “938” Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) lines.
He has called on the private sector to support the police by donating vehicles which could be used in security operations, especially with the toll free service.
And the political activist has called for more recruits into the police service to match the high demand for security in the community.
He has since commended the police command for the recommencement of emergency tool free lines at local police stations.
Last week, police deputy police public relations officer Ray Hamoonga announced that the police have embarked on a pilot project to decentralize the toll free line in Lusaka and have installed digital phones in 10 police stations around Lusaka.
Mr Hamoonga said the technical department at the Zambia Police and Zamtel has enabled the operations of the emergency 991 toll free line depending on the location of the subscriber.
The stations include Lusaka Central, Woodlands, Kabala, Chilenje, Kanyama, Chelstone, Matero, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, Kabangwe Police Post and Chilenje police stations.
“The Zambia Police Service has also engaged two other mobile providers (Airtel and MTN) to help reconfigure the systems to enable subscribers call police stations near to them by using toll free line 991 in cases of emergencies,” he said.
Mr Hamoonga has since warned members of public against abuse of the facility by making prank calls.
“We are appealing to the general public to only call when they are in need of Police help. We are now able to easily trace any caller abusing this facility,” he said.