Every day our dedicated emergency services are just a phone call away, ready to respond to anything from missing people, anti-social behaviour, to road traffic collisions and more.
999 is a number we all learn is a lifeline we can rely on when things take a turn for the worst.
But here's the twist – not every situation demands a 999 call. In fact, many don't.
999 should only be used in situations where:
- Life is at risk
- Persons are badly injured
- A crime is in the process of being committed
- Offenders are nearby
- There has been a serious disruption to the flow of traffic
When to call 101:
- To report non-urgent incidents
- When a crime is not happening now
When to use 101 Live Chat:
- General advice and enquiries
- Updates on incidents already reported
Why does it matter?
Unnecessary 999 calls not only tie up emergency lines but also divert valuable resources from where they're needed most. By making the right call, you play a crucial role in helping the police prioritise and respond faster to genuine emergencies.
Throughout this campaign, we will provide information, tips, and alternative contacts for non-urgent enquiries. Educating and changing the behaviour of the people within our communities.
Let’s make the right call.
I’ve dialled 999 by accident – what do I do?
Accidents happen and we understand. Sometimes, during our busy lives, we accidentally dial 999 – whether your phone has pocket dialled or your little ones have gotten hold of your phone without you knowing.
It's a common mistake, but what you do next can make a difference.
Stay on the line.
Why is it important?
When you accidentally dial 999 and immediately hang up, the call is treated as an emergency.
Our dedicated call handlers are left in the dark, not knowing if you need help or if it was a mistake. They must follow the protocol, which may involve dispatching emergency responders to your location – they can’t close the call case until they know you’re ok.
This is time-consuming and can divert resources from real emergencies.
If you accidentally dial 999, stay on the line.
Your action matters
By staying on the line and explaining that it was an accidental call and that you’re ok, you're helping our call handlers focus on other emergencies. Your simple gesture can save valuable time and resources, and even lives.
How to stay on the line:
- Stay calm: Don't panic. Accidental calls can happen to anyone.
- Wait: Stay on the line for a few moments. This gives the call handler a chance to respond.
- Explain: When the call handler answers, calmly explain that it was an accidental call and that you are not in need of any emergency assistance.
- Confirm your location: Be ready to provide your location so that the dispatcher can verify everything is ok.
The more people know about "Stay on the Line," the more effective it becomes. Share this message with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Together, we can help make sure that every 999 call counts.