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Sharjah's Anjad makes speed a priority

Sharjah traffic police to use GIS technology to reach scene of accidents faster.

  • Major Jasem Bin Hadda, Head of Operation Control Room at Sharjah Police, explains how the new Geographic InforImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Image Credit: Source: Sharjah Police; Illustration: Dwynn Ronald V. Trazo/Gulf News
Gulf News

Sharjah: Anjad units will be able to respond to accident calls with vastly-improved precision thanks to new technology that is to be adopted soon.

Anjad, the traffic police patrols of Sharjah Police, also respond to emergencies in the emirate and function in coordination with various other departments of the police, the municipality and the Sharjah port and customs departments.

At present, after a person involved in an accident in Sharjah calls 999, his call is directly transferred to the Operation Control Room and an operator then manually takes down the caller's details and location.

"The main problem is that many callers do not know where they are exactly, and they have no idea what is the street name or which area they are in. This causes a delay for the Anjad to get to the scene on time, because a lot of time is wasted in finding the correct location," said Major Jasem Bin Hadda, Head of Operation Control Room at Sharjah Police.

Another problem that delays the arrival of the first Anjad patrols is the language barrier between the caller and the operator at the control room.

Major Bin Hadda said that there are more than 200 nationalities living in Sharjah, and there are many languages that the operators do not understand.

"The main languages are Arabic, English and then Urdu, and our operators are equipped in dealing with those callers, as well as Farsi. But we only have one person who has a little knowledge of the Chinese language," he said.

Currently, the operators write down all the caller's details on a piece of paper but that process will soon be a thing of the past once the Geographic Information System (GIS) is implemented.

Engineer Masoud Hassan Amiri, Head of the Operational Department at Sharjah Police, told Gulf News that the new system will make life easier for the public as well as Anjad.

"The GIS system can pinpoint the exact location of the caller and provide us with all the necessary details, such as the caller's address and telephone number. This makes the job of Anjad easier."

The system is being introduced with the cooperation of etisalat, with the latter making available to the control room land-lines and mobile numbers of Sharjah residents.

"Once a call comes in, the telephone number will show on the screen and pinpoint the location of the caller. It will tell us the coordinates, such as latitude and longitude, and will also provide us with an address, and the name of the district," said Amiri.

The coordinates are then transmitted to the computers in the Anjad patrols, which have already been equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS). The patrol closest to the location then proceeds to the scene without seeking directions.

"Anjad will save a lot of time because the coordinates will show up on the vehicle's computer," he said.

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