The role of youngsters in making blank calls is causing concern, writes L. Srikrishna

An increasing number of blank calls, in which the caller does not even mutter a word, made to the Master Control Room by mischievous youngsters is causing concern to the police.

Though City Police Commissioner G. Nanchil Kumaran had recently cautioned that “nuisance mongers or blank callers ringing up the police Master Control Room will not be spared,” the alleged role of youngsters is something that took the force by surprise.

It all started when personnel in the Master Control Room reported an increase in the number of “blank calls” frequently from a few mobile phones. The police started monitoring the calls. Subsequently, at a review meeting of senior officers, when the Commissioner was briefed about the calls , he ordered a probe.

Cyber Crime police tracked the numbers and ultimately found that the mischief was committed by children in the 7-15 age group.

Investigations revealed that most of the calls were made from mobile phones to the control room.

The children, according to one officer, dialled ‘100’ and simply kept the handset in the ‘ON’ mode. Children were unaware that the numbers were registered through the caller identity instrument in the police control room.

One of the calls was made from a PCO. The police said that three to four calls were made by girls and they were school students.

Inquiries revealed that the children used to seek the mobile handsets from their parents on the pretext of playing games.

Whether inadvertently or for mischief, they dialled the control room.

When police went to the residences of the children, the parents and elders pleaded ignorance of the mischief.

Mr Kumaran told The Hindu that besides giving anxious moments to the police, such mischievous acts also blocked the phone line from being accessed by another caller, possibly someone in distress.

Any person attempting to misuse phone would be booked as per the law. When their mistake was pointed out, the children apologised to the Commissioner on Thursday.

Their parents were advised against giving their handsets to the youngsters ,