Deaf residents in Shiga Prefecture, near Kyoto and Osaka, use the telephone number, 1-1-0, to send a text message via mobile telephone to the Shiga Prefectural Police Department for help or emergency. It introduced the emergency text message system for the first time in Japan in January, 1999.
The Communication Order Division of the Police Department in charge of the system is currently in trouble as a large amount of spam such as the online dating sites are sent to the system.
Every time a text message is received with the computer designed for the system, a red light flashes, and the division staff checks it.
Only about one for 300 text messages received is a valid one. The division received 14 valid text messages as of 2006, 12 for 2007, and 49 as of July, 2008. Text messages sent from the deaf persons are mainly complaints of the illegal parking and reports of a suspicious person.
On the other hand, it is said that the spam reaches even by 40-50 text messages a day. The heavy load of the spam has caused the division burden.
There is no mechanism in the system that the spam is deleted at present though the division has hired three more persons in October. The work load of the division is still heavy.
The division manager says that measures with the new communication instruction system would be attempted in January, 2009 when the Police Department is planned to move to the new public office."
Source: The Kyoto Shimbun, Oct. 9, 2008