The Minister of Communication, Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, has warned hoax callers to desist from the practice, to avoid risking criminal prosecution.
The Minister, on Monday, defined a hoax call as calling an emergency line meant for security and emergency purposes, only to joke or hang up upon receipt by an operator.
Such a practice, he emphasised, could be very “dangerous,” for which offenders risked criminal prosecution under existing laws of the country.
Dr. Omane-Boamah gave the caution when he inaugurated a new emergency line, 112, by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) in Accra.
As an emergency response system, a contact centre is established where calls made to 112 are immediately transferred by operators to appropriate quarters for swift response.
This, thus, made hoax calls not only a waste of operator’s time, but also a very dangerous practice in emergency situations, the Minister indicated.
Explaining further how the system operates, Dr. Omane-Boamah said: “The 112 number is set up so that once a call is made to an emergency telephone number, it must be answered.
“Should the caller abandon the call, the line may still be held until the emergency service answers and releases the call,” he said, calling on hoax callers to shed the practice.
Currently in Ghana, the police, army, ambulance service, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the fire service operate different emergency numbers.
The Administrator of GIFEC, Kwabena Owusu Akyeampong, said the service would be implemented in Accra but eventually extended to other regional capitals and districts of the county.
“112 is now a valid emergency number in Ghana and would work parallel with other local emergency numbers until the whole nation has been configured to operate the system,” he indicated.
He, therefore, called on all stakeholders, including the media and telecom operators, to help create awareness especially for young people on what to do in the event of any emergency such as accidents or fire.
By James Harry Obeng