Pocket Dial / Silent 999 Calls
We understand that accidents can happen, and occasionally calls can be made to 999 by mistake, however, did you know if this happens you should stay on the line and tell us you're fine?
We know that most people’s first instinct would be to quickly hang up the call, but if you don’t tell us that you’re OK, we have to spend time getting back in contact with you, to make sure that there isn’t a real emergency. This can take up precious time and resources for our Call Handlers and could even lead to officers being deployed un-necessarily.
So please remember, if you or your child accidently calls 999 – don’t hang up! Speak to the Call Handler and let them know it was just a mistake, they won’t be annoyed or angry, you will be helping them by letting them know officers aren’t needed.
Do you need to call 999 but too scared to speak or make a noise? You can press 55 when dialling 999 from a mobile, this then tells the police that the call is a genuine emergency.
The majority of smart phones have a feature to make an emergency call to the police easily, which means people can easily get the help they need when they’re in a genuine emergency. So we’re asking people to please just take a minute to check their phone settings, and reduce the chances of calling 999 accidentally.
How can I reduce my risk of pocket dialling?
Android devices have a built in security app called ‘Smart Lock’ which automatically locks the device when it’s not around you and unlocks when it is. It is a simple process to disable this which will reduce the risk of you inadvertently pocket dialling Emergency SOS or other individuals. This will not disable the function to dial emergency SOS. Follow the steps below to disable this feature:
- Open Settings
- Go to Lock Screen and Security Folder
- Click ‘Secure lock settings’
- Located at the bottom, you will find ‘Smart Lock’. Open this.
- If ‘On-Body Detection’ is enabled, simply disable.
Apple / iOS devices are even easier to choose what features can and cannot be used whilst the device is locked. Follow the steps below to amend your settings:
- Open Settings
- Open ‘Touch ID & Passcode folder’
- Scroll down to the field name ‘allow access when locked’
- Enable/Disable the features.
iOS users can also rapidly click the sleep/wake button five times to quickly call emergency services. Follow the steps below to disable the settings for auto-calling:
- Open Settings
- Open Emergency SOS
- Disable Auto Call.
Apple Watch users also have the ability to automatically dial emergency services by holding down the side button on the device. You can change your settings so that holding the side button won’t call emergency services automatically:
- Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the ‘My Watch’ tab.
- Tap Emergency SOS
- Turn off Hold Side Button
If this setting is disabled, you can still use the Emergency SOS slider to make a call.
Samsung Galaxy Watch users have the ability to automatically dial emergency services by pressing the home key (power key) quickly three times. You can change your setting so this key press won’t call emergency services automatically:
- Open the Galaxy Wearable app on your phone
- Tap watch settings, tap safety and emergency
- Turn off SOS with Home Key
Google Pixel Watch users have the ability to automatically dial emergency services by pressing the home key (power key) quickly five times. You can change your setting so this key press won’t call emergency services automatically:
- On the Pixel Watch, swipe down
- Tap settings, tap Safety and Emergency
- Tap Emergency SOS and switch off.