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WeChat app aids disabled in reporting emergencies
From:Shanghai Daily  |  2019-01-10 08:30

From today, residents will be able to use WeChat to report emergencies to the police.

Through an app, residents can show a live video of the scene to staff at the police call center and their location is automatically captured.

The application, “Shanghai 110,” requires users to register with an ID card number before filing a report. The interface is in Chinese, but police said foreigners will soon be able to register with their passport numbers. A report can be filed through either text or video-link.

The number 12110 has been used for emergency reporting by SMS, but the service targets people with impaired hearing or speech. Police also encourage people to forward fraudulent messages to the number. The number of emergency SMS received is very small compared with the number of calls received every day.

The WeChat service also mainly addresses people with disabilities, and police encourage people to still call by phone in case of emergency as phone calls are the most reliable and efficient way to file a report.

Four operators at the call center will be assigned to WeChat reports. Police warn that those who abuse the new service or file fake reports should expect punishment.

Shanghai’s 110 call center has been running since 1993. The call center has a staff of 400 who take 28,000 calls each day.

Sixty multilingual officers who speak at least one of Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish are on standby 24/7 to take calls from foreigners.

Around 93 percent of callers in an SMS message survey said they were satisfied with the service they received.

From October this year, around 500 calls a day which do not require direct police attention will be forwarded to the government service number 12345.