If you need urgent assistance you should always dial 999.
An emergency is if you are reporting a crime that is in progress, when a suspect is nearby or when there is danger to life/property.
If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impediment you can:
- Use a text phone to call the Typetalk emergency line on 18000
- Send an emergency text message, find out how to register your mobile phone with the system
Our highly skilled staff are available 24/7 to react to your emergency requirements. They are proficient in eliciting information to formulate the appropriate Police response, tailored to meet your specific needs, liaising with our partners in the Ambulance and Fire Service where required. When you dial 999, you will initially be greeted by a BT Operator who will ask you which service you require.
Examples of justified reasons to use 999 are (please note this list is not exhaustive):
You should ask for the Police if:
- You are involved in, or have witnessed a serious road traffic collision where there are injuries and/or the road is blocked
- You are the victim of, or witnessing a crime in progress (e.g. Burglary, Domestic Assault, Assault, Criminal Damage)
- If you have immediate concerns for your own safety or the safety of others (Vulnerable Missing Persons – including people with mental health issues/suicidal thoughts/threats with weapons)
The BT Operator will pass your contact number to the emergency service you requested.
You should ask for Fire Service if:
- You have witnessed a fire starting – e.g. bin, vehicle, grass
- You have witnessed someone falling into a river/reen/pond and they are experiencing difficulties
- You are the victim of flooding
You should ask for Ambulance Service if:
- You have collapsed/become unwell or you witness someone collapsing/becoming unwell
What information we will ask you to provide
- What is happening
- Your current location and the location of the incident (if different)
- Your name, address, date of birth
- The name, address and date of birth of any other persons involved (if known)
- Descriptions of any alleged offenders
- Details of any vehicles involved
- Details of any weapons involved
- Names, addresses and dates of birth of any other person (including children) associated with the incident
- Current location of any alleged offenders
- Places offenders/missing persons may frequent
- Why this is happening (any history)
It is important you allow this information to be passed should the line cut off and we need to re-contact you.
Our staff utilise specific questioning techniques in order to obtain this information from you, they are empathetic and will reassure you throughout the call. Where appropriate, they may stay on the line with you until an officer arrives to continue to record any developments in the incident, to provide you with updates with regards to Officer’s arrival times or simply support you until we know you are safe.
If you are unable to communicate by voice
You can register for the 999 emergency service offered by BT by texting the word ‘REGISTER’ to the number ‘999’. In the event of an emergency, send your name, location and brief overview of the circumstances to the number ‘999’ and a BT Operator will relay any conversation between yourself and our 999 Operators by voice.
When an emergency is not an emergency
If, after questioning, our staff decide an emergency response is not required, or that another agency/emergency service would be more beneficial, they will advise you of this and provide any advice/contact numbers required. Please do not feel aggrieved by this, our staff have to prioritise genuine calls for an emergency response and keep the telephone lines free for such calls.