Have you ever wondered how Dubai Police works so efficiently in the emirate when a distressed call comes through.
On Sunday morning, the UAE Mobile Government aimed the spotlight on Dubai Police and explained how they are notified when a distress call is made to 901 or 999.
And so at Gulf News, we decided to dig a little deeper to understand how many distressed calls Dubai Police receives and how it handles them so efficiently.
Take a look at what we found.
In 2018, Dubai Police achieved an average emergency response time of nine minutes and three seconds to occurrences in the third quarter of the year, compared to 12 minutes and eight seconds for the same period in 2017.
The average response time to non-emergency incidents was 12 minutes and two seconds for the third quarter of 2018 compared to 14 minutes and six seconds during same period 2017.
The emergency number 999 received 1.7 million calls in the third quarter of 2018 and about 1.5 million calls were answered within less than 10 seconds as compared to 808,199 calls in the third quarter of 2017.
Meanwhile, the non-emergency number 901 received 97,361 calls in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 65,578 calls during third quarter of 2017.
This year in August, during Eid Al Adha holidays, Dubai Police said its emergency number 999 received 28,603 calls for the period.
So how does Dubai Police work so efficiently?
Well, that will be thanks to the Advanced Mobile Location (AML).
What is AML
Advanced Mobile Location (AML) is a technology that is activated when an emergency call is made from a mobile phone. It was deployed in the UAE in 2017 and is currently connected to police services.
AML stands for Advanced Mobile Location as per European Emergency Number Association (EENA). It is a technology that is activated when an emergency call is made from a mobile phone. AML enables handset-derived caller location information (GNSS, Wi-Fi etc.) to be provided to the emergency services without prior action from the caller in distress. As per EENA’s AML Report card 2019 (PDF, 200KB), 15 countries currently making use of AML.
How does it work
AML is supported in smartphones that use Android or iOS operating systems. However, the technology is activated by the OS providers (Google and Apple) on a country per country basis once the national authorities are technically and operationally ready to receive such information. When deploying AML, several configurations are possible. It involves:
• The phone numbers for which AML is activated
• The transmission channel: SMS (or Data SMS), HTTPS
• The time delta to receive an SMS
• Sending of location for international roamers calling the emergency services
• Sending of location for people using SMS-to-112 (or equivalent) services.
AML in the UAE
AML was deployed in the UAE in 2017. It is operational in the whole country on Android operating systems. It is being tested on iOS. It is connected to police services presently. 999 and 911 are the emergency numbers that are activated on Android. On iOS, only 999 will be activated.
In a nutshell
An AML-enabled smartphone recognises when an emergency call is made and, if not already activated, activates the phone’s GNSS to collect the caller’s location information. The handset then sends an automatic SMS to the emergency services with the caller’s location, before turning the GNSS off again. The service can also use Wi-Fi, depending on which is better at a given moment. Please note that AML is not an app.
Caller location is key
Accurate caller location in case of an emergency is one of the most significant pieces of information an emergency call-taker can use. Caller location can be detrimental for the safety of citizens in many ways, the decision on which emergency resource is dispatched, the quickest route to get to the incident, and so on.
AML on Android phones
Meet Emergency Location Service (ELS) in Android: In one of the biggest news of the industry in the last years, Google announced in July 2016 that all Android phones in the world, from Gingerbread OS version onwards, include AML. The messages are transmitted to the end-point via an SMS to a short number. Two messages from Android and 1 message from iOS are sent during the duration of the call. The police receive AML positions directly in their Geographical Information System between 5 and 12 seconds. The transmission of the AML message is free to the caller.
AML on Apple phones
Apple released iOS 11.3 on 29 March 2018, the twelfth official update to the iOS 11 operating system that first came out in September of 2017.
The update includes support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML), offering a more accurate location when placing an emergency call in a support country.
The iOS 11.3 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the update, go to Settings –> General –> Software Update. Eligible devices include the iPhone 5s and later, the iPad mini 2 and later, the iPad Air and later, and the 6th-generation iPod touch