Police launch emergency SMS service to allow people to text 999

Police have launched a new service to allow people to text 999.
Police have launched a new service to allow people to text 999.

North Yorkshire Police have launched a service to allow those who find themselves in an emergency to text 999.

The new service caters for people with hearing or speech impairments as well as those who simply aren't in a position to make calls.

It's free to access and available to all, however, people need to register first.

How to register for the new service
Police have pointed out that this should only be used when there is a genuine emergency, such as a threat to life or if a crime is taking place right now. To alert police to an incident, start your text with the service you need and be as precise as possible, including details of the nature of the incident, the name of the road and town and, if possible, more details like the house number or nearby landmarks or main roads.

Once the text has been sent, the relevant emergency service will reply confirming the receipt of the text or requesting more information if necessary.

Force Control Room Manager Jane Larkin said: “The message arrives with us via a relay system, where the information is securely and confidentially passed between ourselves and the caller. This allows us to gather all the information we need to determine what assistance is required by the caller and dispatch the relevant police response.

“We are fully committed to ensuring that contacting the police is quick, easy and convenient for everyone, so this system is a vital life line to those who may find making voice calls difficult.

"It’s well worth signing up for the service, so you are already registered if an emergency should ever happen.”