In an emergency, dial 111 (or 112)

Brislen

Police had an information page telling people they couldn't dial 112 in an emergency.

Now, after bugging from busybody Paul Brislen, they've changed it to say that you can.

What gives?

111 remains New Zealand's emergency number.

112 is an international emergency number. It works in all countries, including here (technically, only countries with GSM networks, but these days that's nearly every corner of the globe).

It's a handy tip if you're business travelling through multiple countries. 

If, for example, can't remember the emergency number for Australia (it's 000), just dial 112. 

One qualifier: dialling from a mobile 112 will put you straight through to emergency services. Dialling 112 from a landline will lead to a recorded message telling you to dial 111 (or whatever the emergency number is for the country you're in).

There was some social media chatter that dialling 112 on a mobile will help you reach emergency services if a phone is locked. That's incorrect, or at least 111 or 112 are equally effective at skirting a lock screen for an emergency call (whether either can is dependent on the make and model of your phone; a handful of older phones don't support this feature).

Another key point from Mr Brislen (which telcos confirmed to NBR): an emergency call from your mobile will try to get through on any available network if your operator is unreachable.

So if, say, you're a 2degrees customer in a place where you can't get a 2degrees signal, your phone can connect to Vodafone or Spark's networks if they are available (and vice versa).

Pre-register for emergency txts
One other point: in Australia, there's an additional emergency number, 106, which the hearing or speech-impaired can text in an emergency.

Here, you can text 111, but only if you've registered your number (which brings to mind the nightmare scenario of trying to register as an emergency is happening; surely we can do better than that).

Emergency texts from phones that have not been registered (on this page) will not go through.

Lastly,  although Mr Brislen nudged the cops to correct their site to include 112, he emphasises people should call 111 when in NZ.

 


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7 Comments & Questions

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Half kids in NZ think of the USA number

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Which will also connect you to emergency services in NZ (911)

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This reminds me of a crime in progress that I once witnessed. I ran over to a gas station and asked the guy at the counter if he could call the cops. He didn't want to know, and quickly handed me the phone. I thought no big deal and rang them myself. Boy, I quickly found out why. The guy on the other end wanted what seemed like my whole life's history. At one stage I stopped him and said I've only rung to report a crime, what's with all the questions, to which he said, it's for my records. Ok ok. Finally the cops arrived, and would you believe it, I was expected to repeat everything again for the cops. I stopped the cop and said that I've already given all this to the phone operator, to which he replied, oh this is for my records. Really!! I now know why the gas station attendant didn't want to know, he knew what to expect. The next time I witness a crime I will know what to expect, and if it's not the crime of the century, I may think twice about reporting it. Oh and by the way they never caught the two taggers, they were well gone by the time all this unnecessary questioning was over with.

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Technically if PC plod is doing their job, and the matter is life and death, they first ask for the crime type then the address, and then dispatch a car. Then they ask for details as the car is in progress. If you’ve rung from your mobile or land line they will know a lot about you already once you get transferred to the right emergency service.

Qurestions are important as the services field a lot of hoax and non urgent calls. In my experience how you approach the call does have a bearing on how the service operator attends to it and how quickly a patrol or service will be dispatched.

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Ivan's experience is the same as mine a year or so ago.
Once upon a time a 111 call would go to your nearest Police Station.
They would know exactly where you were and could quickly send someone to attend. Then the Police Department introduced an "initiative", - a gimmick to you and me. They sent all 111 calls to either Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland where the guy at the other end has no idea of your location and wants the answer to twenty questions before he does anything. He then sends the information to another office who eventually sends someone to attend. Perhaps we should regard it as an innovative way to reduce reported crime .

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I echo the above posts; I rang up to report a crime in progress once but the interrogation made it feel like it was me that was the criminal. Haven’t bothered since as it isn’t like they catch the criminal anyway (and if they do then they’ll just be let off with a slap on the wrist by a wet bus ticket).

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