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Contacting emergency services in the digital age

Communications have changed drastically since the world-leading UK ‘999’ service was launched in London in the late 1930s.

We are now ‘Digital by Default’ and data rather than voice dominate as do increasingly smart mobile handsets rather than land lines. Furthermore younger people are shown by Ofcom data to be more likely to use data services including text and social media than voice, as might any user faced with high ambient sound. Most calls are made from mobiles - and the modern smart mobile has extensive capabilities (such as call trace, messaging, video, GPS enhanced mapping) that can greatly improve response but are not yet being fully used. Control room systems are also being upgraded providing an opportunity to utilise richer information. There is great potential for overall cost reduction and transformation during 2016 - 2018 providing we start now.

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