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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Prank calls that could kill you

You're a police operator. The phone rings and the person on the other end reports that a terror attack is taking place. Would it ever occur to you that the call might be a prank? Well, if you're working in Israel's Judea and Samaria police department, the odds are pretty high that it might be a prank.
Judea and Samaria Police receive between 30,000 and 40,000 abusive calls from Palestinians every month, The Jerusalem Post has been told.

Police operators at the Judea and Samaria phone center undergo special training to learn how to distinguish between abusive and real calls, and a computerized phone system is used to screen out the bogus callers, Ch.-Supt. Nir Carmeli, head of Judea and Samaria Police’s Control Room at district headquarters in Ma’aleh Adumim’s E1 (Mevaseret Adumim) neighborhood, said on Thursday.

“Without the screening, we would be getting 90,000 to 100,000 bad calls a month,” Carmeli said. The calls range from personally abusive to threats of terrorist attacks, he added.

“We often hear people cursing our sisters and mothers. Sometimes we get callers threatening to blow us up or carry out a suicide bomb attack,” he said. “When that happens, we treat the call as a real threat. We pass a warning on to the IDF and Shin Bet. It goes through intelligence, and the security forces are alerted. We know it could be bogus, but we don’t take chances,” Carmeli said.

“Efforts to trace the call continue until we can determine whether it is a real threat or not,” he added.

With 50-60 percent of all calls coming into headquarters being abusive, and operators fielding an average of 1,500 bogus calls a month, Carmeli said the problem has “really harmed our ability to respond to calls. New operators are insulted when they’re told to screw their sisters. Years ago, we would answer the calls by introducing ourselves, but this has stopped because harassers would call back pretending to be friends and asking for operators by name, and it became uncomfortable.”

Now operators give their first name only after a call is identified as legitimate.
Read the whole thing. For those who are interested, you may even learn how to curse in Arabic.


At 1:34 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - they deserve it. In large part because they harrass Jews while giving Arabs a pass. What the Judea and Samaria Police is experiencing is being paid back to them to their face as were.


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