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1 in 2 emergency calls a mistake

Almost half of the calls received by Cambodia's emergency services are dialled by mistake, according to the National Police.

Out of 4,437 phone calls received by Cambodia's police, fire and ambulance hotlines in the month after the numbers were launched in July, 2,212 were connected in error.

National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith blamed the confusion on mobile operators' short codes, which are used to select ringtones or refill account balances.

"They assign their short codes similar to our [emergency numbers]... so the customers use the short codes, but it reaches us," he told the Post.

In May, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications ordered all mobile operators to delete short codes that start with the numbers 117, 118 and 119 to avoid interference. The codes 117, 118, and 119 now connect to the police, fire and ambulance services, respectively.

One mobile operator denied responsibility. Mam Sothea, of Mobitel, said: "We don't have any short codes that are similar to those numbers."

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