Emergency SMS 999

16 09 2009

I’ve always felt hard done by when thinking about my safety. Being unable to hear on the phone, I would hate to be put in a position where I needed to call the police quickly if I was being mugged or burgled, or the ambulance service if there was an accident, or the fire service if I had a fire at home. I would always need to rely upon a hearing person to make that call. Assuming I could find someone quickly wherever and whenever that may be. Assuming they would be willing to make the call – what if they didn’t understand me or it was 3am?

But there’s hope. A new service is being trialled in the UK. You can now send a text message to the emergency services using 999 rather than a long number you can’t remember, or trying to call via Typetalk / Text Direct / Text Relay / Whatever It’s Called. This is fabulous news for people who can’t use the phone. You need to register your mobile phone with the service, which is very simple and takes 2 minutes.

Further details here: Emergency SMS

The RNID are running a survey on access to emergency services with the aim of improving access. More information after the jump.





New emergency text services

5 05 2008

A new emergency text service has been launched by police in Sussex. You can read about it here. To call an emergency service, send a text to 65999, starting with the word POLICE, FIRE, AMBULANCE, or COASTGUARD.

A similar service has started in Kent, send a text beginning with POLICE, MEDIC or RESCUE to 60066.

Bus passengers in Brighton and Hove can send a text if there are problems on the bus such as rowdiness. Text REPORT to 60060 and give a description of the incident, and your message will be passed on to the police.

It’s a shame the numbers are all different, unlike the national 999 number or 911 in the US. A national number would make more sense, wouldn’t it?





Interpreters

1 03 2008

Unqualified interpreters are being employed at police stations and at Court, to provide a service that must be accurate and professionally undertaken.

Only interpreters from the ‘National Register of Public Service Interpreters’ should be used for judicial purposes (including the initial stages of an investigation). Members have proved themselves to be proficient, having passed stringent exams, and are monitored regularly.

Most agencies employ unqualified interpreters, many of whom cannot speak English; they are generally unqualified and do not meet the standard required, thus, foreign offenders ‘get off’, due to poor interpretation services from the outset.

The police, CPS, and courts MUST use accredited interpreters.

With so many foreign migrant workers in the UK, the NRPSI network of accredited interpreters MUST be used, in order that foreign offenders can be treated in the same way as indigenous Britons.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ensure that accredited and professional interpreters are used in legal proceedings, from time of arrest throughout the judicial system, and that ‘language agencies’ who provide unqualified so-called interpreters should be strictly monitored and disqualified from providing interpreting services.

Deadline to sign the petition: 7th March 2008

Sign the petition here