564,188 emergency 112 calls made last year
The police control room last year received 564,188 calls on the emergency 112 service, Police Commissioner John Rizzo said.
Speaking at a press conference, he said the people were becoming increasingly aware of the service. The police were also becoming more efficient in handling the calls, with the number of unanswered calls having dropped significantly.
The statistics were given to mark 112 Day, which will be held all over the EU on Saturday.
The Sunday Times had reported in the first half of 2009 that up to a third of 112 calls were unanswered. But Mr Rizzo said this morning that 150,104 went unanswered in the whole of last year. The vast majority - 110,716 - were calls which were cut off within five seconds before they could be answered and many others were believed to have been wrong numbers.
3,065 calls which were not answered were automatically transferred to the Civil Protection Department's control room.
He said, was that there were only six consoles where calls were handled.
However the situation was expected to improve, with more people deployed to the service. New software would also be installed making it easier for respondents to direct callers.
Home Affairs Minister Carm Mifsud Bonnici said the percentage of received and answered calls compared well with European statistics.
He noted that there had been some 35,000 hoax calls last year.
The average waiting time for callers is five seconds.
Of the calls received last year, 25,200 were transferred to Mater Dei Hospital and some 14,000 were re-drected to the CPD. The rest were handled by the police.