Posted: Fri 9th Jun 2023

Rise in silent 999 calls: North Wales Police’s plea to public over pocket dialling

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jun 9th, 2023

North Wales Police are calling on the public to check their phone settings to prevent accidental emergency calls, following a significant rise in ‘silent 999 calls’.

‘Silent 999 calls’ are emergency calls where no one can be heard talking, often made accidentally by ‘pocket dialling’. These calls can consume considerable time as staff must contact the caller back to ensure no help is needed.

Chief Inspector Jon Aspinall said, “The number of accidental 999 calls we are experiencing has increased significantly. I would encourage everyone to check their emergency settings on their mobile handsets and change them to prevent further accidental calls to the emergency services.”

The force is working closely with mobile phone providers to resolve this situation. However, in the meantime, a change of settings can ensure accidental 999 calls are not made. If individuals have issues changing their settings, they are advised to contact their handset or network provider, or use an internet search to identify how to change the settings for their particular handset.

“Our priority is to provide an immediate service to those most in need,” Aspinall added. “We encourage you to follow this guidance and share it with your family and friends so we can provide the best service possible to those in need in a genuine emergency.”

The police also offered additional tips to avoid accidental 999 calls, such as keeping phones out of reach of children and locking phones before putting them in pockets or bags.

If an accidental 999 call is made, the public is urged to speak with the call handler to inform them that the call was made by mistake and that help isn’t required. This will help ensure that emergency services can focus their efforts on those in genuine need.

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