Android phone feature leads to increase in abandoned 999 calls
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Cleveland Police is asking Android phone users to be aware of a new feature which is contributing to a continuing rise in demand for the force.
Cleveland Police received an increase of more than 1,000 abandoned calls in May 2023 compared to May 2022, and it’s believed the new smartphone feature is one of the causes of this.
The Android smartphone software has a new emergency function for devices to call 999 through the power button being pressed five times or more.
There is a software update which Android smartphone users can manually download and update, which avoids the feature automatically dialling 999.
Smartphones that run on Android operating systems include Samsung's Galaxy, Google's Pixel and OnePlus handsets.
Temporary Superintendent Paul Richardson, said:
“We’re asking users of Android smartphones to please be mindful of this feature and try to avoid accidentally causing the phone to dial through to 999.
“Abandoned 999 calls have a significant impact on the time of call handlers in the control room because we cannot simply ignore any 999 calls, even if they are abandoned very quickly.
“We have a duty to call back everyone who dials 999 if they do not speak to us, because we need to make sure whoever is on the end of the line is safe. This takes us away from 999 calls made by members of the public who need us in a real emergency”.