The number of emergency calls to police between last January and November reached a record high of more than 8.12 million, 52 percent of which were made from mobile phones, according to the National Police Agency.

The NPA said total calls to the 110 emergency number reporting crimes and accidents was 2.4 percent more than in the same period in 2001. Police received an average of 24,315 calls a day.

The number of calls made from mobile phones was 4.22 million, up 7.1 percent from the same period a year earlier.

The agency predicts the calls for all of 2002 will total 8.87 million when the December figures are taken into account, representing a 14-fold increase over 1961, when the NPA began compiling such data.

The police response time was an average of six minutes and 59 seconds — 30 seconds longer than in the corresponding period of the previous year — with the agency citing more calls from cell phones as one reason, because callers often fail to convey accurate information on the location of accidents and crimes.

Traffic-related calls accounted for the largest portion, at 30.2 percent, while inquiries about police-related matters, such as telephone numbers for police stations, accounted for 15.6 percent of all calls to 110.

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