Juba, South Sudan.
Sept 24, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- The Emergency Call Centre (777) in Buluk welcomed the new Minister of Interior Lt Gen Michael Geay on 22 September, 2016 morning.
SSNPS Deputy Inspector General, Ambassador of Japan, Kiya Masahiko and Director General International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, Japan, Akio Miyajima, UNDP CTA Surendra Sharma, Director ICT Maj Gen Gai and Deputy Director Brig Mangar received the Minister at the ECC.
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Brig Mangar briefed the Minister about the functioning of the service. Gen Gaey visited all the sections of the Centre and interacted with the officers on duty.
“This is a very important facility. I appreciate UNDP and the Government of Japan for their support in setting up this Centre. We must ensure that it functions well and provides support to the public in need” he said.
Since its commissioning the Centre has responded to over 12000 calls from the public in distress and had played a critical role in improving the security situation in Juba. The 777 response teams have apprehended 889 criminals, captured 128 AK 47 rifles, 21 pistols, 3 light machine guns, 7 hand grenades and 4477 rounds of various types of ammunition. In addition they recovered 20 stolen cars and 31 motor cycles.
The 777 troopers had attended to 209 traffic accidents, 23 cases of gender based violence and 09 fire incidents besides responding to 696 medical emergencies, most of which involved women in labour. 627 Cases were opened as a result of the responses from 777 in various Police Divisions in Juba.
The service had projected a very positive image of the Police in the public and was acknowledged as meeting a very important demand of the public of Juba.
However since 2016, the service is unable to perform to its full potential for various administrative and logistical reasons. The Minister of Interior interacted with the officers of 777 to get a clear idea of the challenges being faced by the service and how the 777 could be reactivated.
Lack of technical manpower, no regular funding for repairs, maintenance, food, fuel, poor roads, deployment of 777 vehicles for other duties were some of the reasons cited by the staff for the 777 not being able to perform its regular duties.
Chief technical Adviser UNDP, Surendra Sharma requested the Minister for allocation of funds to meet the recurring operational cost of the service. UNDP had provided IT equipment, furniture, registers, jackets, GPS, computers, round the clock solar back up and training to 648 ECC personnel, he mentioned.
Ambassador Kiya also emphasised the need for the department to bear the recurring costs to make the service sustainable and encourage the donors to extend further support.
Expressing his concern at the facility not being functional, the Minister directed that the budget required for repair of the cars and other essential needs to put up to him for his consideration.
“This is a very good facility. We cannot let it go down like this. A city like Juba must have such a system where the public can easily access the Police in emergency”, he said.
Established in July 2014 by SSNPS and UNDP with support from Government of Japan, mobile service providers and the Ministries of Telecom and Interior the centre provides the public direct 24×7 access to the Police through a toll free number (777).