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Police call for patience amid 311 hotline complaints

By LEANDRA ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

AMID complaints that the 311 hotline is not being answered, police officials are urging the Bahamian public to be patient as they wait to receive assistance from the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s COVID-19 command centre.

A police spokesman said officers are doing the best they can to “answer people in a timely fashion.”

People have complained about long wait times as a result of the large volume of calls to the hotline. Others have said the number has been busy when they have tried to call police.

Some have taken to social media to express their anger over the issue, saying that despite their calls, they have yet to receive a response from officers.

One person wrote on Facebook: “I’ve been calling the 311 (number) for over an hour and it said this number is temporarily unavailable. Try again. What the hell?”

Another person said: "311 lines must be down. I been calling that from last night."

On Monday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis announced an immediate week-long lockdown for New Providence, shutting down commercial activity on the island. Food stores, water depots and private pharmacies will be closed during this period, unlike other lockdowns when these businesses were allowed to operate.

He added that anyone found on the streets without a valid reason during the seven-day lockdown will be fined.

People have been advised to contact the Royal Bahamas Police Force emergency hotline number 311 to receive permission before leaving their homes. The guideline also applies to essential workers and media.

Additional telephone numbers at the police COVID-19 command centre also include: 322-1051, 326-6346 or 326-7871. Officers can also be reached via Whatsapp at 806-6852.

"The Royal Bahamas Police Force will check all vehicles to determine where people are headed and to confirm that these individuals contacted the Royal Bahamas Police Force emergency contact number for approval to be on the streets. This includes all government red plate vehicles,” Dr Minnis said during his national address on Monday.

Many locals have since criticised the prime minister’s announcement, with some observers taking issue with the short notice given to adequately prepare for the lockdown.

A Facebook user said: “My cousin called 311 just now and the man tell us the water depots ain’t opening and asked if she have enough funds to call the water truck. He then says ‘if not, we have to make do and boil tap water because we should know how to survive’…and then he hung up (sic).”

Meanwhile, a group of protestors were arrested Tuesday morning after demonstrating against the lockdown.

Comments

trueBahamian 3 years, 9 months ago

Wow! So, we get a number that is staffed by the same people who don't check in normal times. The government has failed like the one before them and one before that one and so on.

Can we find some good, intelligent people who understand how to govern this country? Why are we constantly pulling leaders from the cesspool of incompetence?

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Clamshell 3 years, 9 months ago

Exactly! You’re lucky if somebody picks up the phone half the time in the best of days ... and now this! Didn’t take a swami to predict it would be a total cluster-f*ck. Jeezus ...

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thps 3 years, 9 months ago

Did they not plan for this? You would assume if this was in your back pocket you would have planned. It's not like they don't have thousands of public service workers available.

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ThisIsOurs 3 years, 9 months ago

I'm baffled at how the PM keeps announcing how tgey have adequate systems in place and then the systems get overwhelmed with 100 people

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moncurcool 3 years, 9 months ago

It is a waste of time to call 311. You get a quicker response through the WhatsApp number.

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thps 3 years, 9 months ago

Good to know. Some places using WhatsApp is worse than calling.

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Clamshell 3 years, 9 months ago

You’d get a quicker response calling Mars.

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