DRC Police to launch digital call centre

By Issa Sikiti da Silva, in Kinshasa, DR Congo

In October this year, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will launch a digital call centre equipped with computers, fast internet and other latest technology tools to enable the police to respond timely and effectively to any kind of distress calls by the people.

Violent crime is on the increase in the DRC and authorities are under pressure from the people to do something about it.

Visiting the Centre for Command, Control and Coordination in the capital Kinshasa, where the site is under construction, Prime Minister Matata Ponyo said the National Police’s effectiveness needed to be improved through technology to provide a permanent, adequate and appropriate response in order to bring crime under control and protect the populations stressed by insecurity.

A toll-free hotline, 112, will be established for people to report all forms of crime.

The head of government, who also witnessed a simulation of the operation conducted at the call centre, said he was satisfied of the work done so far. The government said many other digital police call centres will be rolled out nationwide from October onward.

The centre already has a server room, a computer room and a room for crisis operations and biometric information, Ponyo said.

"The machine that gathers information and reactions is already installed. There are still some peripheral components to be connected, logistics to be supported and some connection equipment to allow movement of police personnel to the centre of detection,” he explained.

The new digital call centre also forms part of the police reforms being undertaken by the government.

Almost all of the police stations in the DRC have no computers, landline telephones or any form of technology, and everything is done by writing and reporting crime is done by cellphone.

An ordinary citizen needs to have at least two or three police cellphone numbers operating in his or her area.



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