181 PUNJAB POLICE HELPLINE RECEIVES RECORD 1.17 LAKH CALLS IN FIVE MONTHS (Helpline achieves 78 per cent caller satisfaction)
(Deputy CM asks other departments to start similar helplines)
Chandigarh, 23 January 204 (BharatSandesh Bureau):– The 181 Punjab Police Helpline has achieved the unique distinction of receiving a record 1.17 lakh calls within five months with a satisfaction level of 78 per cent.
Reviewing the status of the 181 programme here today, Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expressed satisfaction that the 181scheme had not only taken off immediately but had received over one lakh calls, a record for any such public service. He said he had himself checked satisfaction level of a number of complainants all of whom had praised the service.
Giving the details about the helpline, Mr. Dinkar Gupta, ADGP/Security informed that out of the total 1.17 lac calls about 38,000 calls were related to various police related inquiries and suggestions, and about 54,000 calls were feedback and follow-up calls. He said over 16000 complaints were received on the Helpline, which were promptly conveyed to the concerned district police authorities for necessary action and were acted upon in a time bound manner.
Mr Dinkar Gupta revealed that since the launch of the the service, the satisfaction level of the citizens vis a vis the police response had shown a steady increase from 70% in September to 73% in October, 74% in November and December 2013 and finally to 78% in January 2014.
He said this Helpline had made a significant contribution to the ongoing Punjab Police campaign regarding zero tolerance to crimes against women. With the active assistance of the general public, which provided valuable inputs on the Helpline like gathering of hoodlums and ruffians outside schools/colleges, absence of street lights etc., the police ensured effective and timely action in such cases also.
He dislosed that about 42% of the complainants (6802) were women, who called to report domestic violence (1177 cases), dowry related harassment (521 cases), obscene calls/SMS (458 cases), rape and rape attempt (170 cases), eve-teasing (134 cases) and sexual harassment (63 cases). All these cases were given top priority and were dealt with due sensitivity, care, diligence, and mostly by women police officers.
Besides this, neglected and socially abused senior citizens who called at the helpline also got prompt support and assistance. 797 senior citizens were provided relief through active intervention of the police, as well as through counseling by Clinical physiologists based round-the-clock at helpline. Many of them (142) were facing harassment, humiliation, and even cruelty at the hands of their sons, daughters, and relatives over property and other issues while others had been thrown out of their houses by their sons and daughters and some others were facing harassment from their drug-addicted sons, he added.
The ADGP said 91% of the cases/complaints received on the Helpline till date were closed within the given time-frame (turnaround time), which was a maximum of 30 days. He said 90% of callers who contacted 181 Helpline in emergencies, crises or distress situations expressed their satisfaction with the police response. Around 84% of callers who contacted the Helpline regarding women related issues also expressed satisfaction in follow-up calls made by trained Case-coordinators and Councillors.
The ADGP/Security said that for determining the satisfaction level, all complainants receive feedback calls from independent Helpline Case-coordinators and Councillors. It may be mentioned here that calls can be closed only after feedback calls are made to each complainant, and their satisfaction level elicited from them. He informed that Indian School of Business (ISB), Mohali has been approached to carry out an independent third-party evaluation of the functioning of the Helpline.
Mr Gupta said from November 15 Punjab Police had started soliciting feedback from citizens about traffic accidents, jams and obstructions on highways. The citizens provided inputs to the police (170) regarding traffic problems like traffic jams, and unauthorized parking, accidents which were promptly dealt with by the police. He said as many as 139 callers (82%) reported their complete satisfaction with the police response in such traffic related cases.
The Deputy Chief Minister has asked other State government departments, including Revenue and Health departments to start similar Helplines to improve the delivery of services to the community, and to make the employees accountable to taxpayers.