Assurances sought by Leicestershire PCC that 999 disruption won’t be repeated – after service outage which lasted 90 minutes

Local Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews has written to government and BT
The outage affected all emergency servicesThe outage affected all emergency services
The outage affected all emergency services

A letter has been written to government and BT raising serious concerns about recent technical faults to the 999 service.

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews was among several PCC’s across the country to write to Minister of State for Crime, Policing and Fire following the recent outage which stopped people calling emergency services.

During the incident, BT switched to a back-up system as the service was restored, with people then able to call 999 as usual.

The PCCs asked for assurances on the systems in place to hold BT to account for delivering the emergency service.

In a separate letter to Ed Stainton, Director of Major Government at BT Enterprise, the PCCs asked for an explanation of the failings that took place which led to the outage and the mitigating action taken to prevent further disruption in the future.

Mr Matthews said: "The public must have confidence that when they need help urgently, it will be available. Incidents such as this are, thankfully, rare, but if they reoccur may undermine that trust.

"The outage and its impact on callers who couldn't get through is an issue of serious concern and it will take some time to establish exactly how this affected what were potentially life-threatening emergencies. We have asked for a full explanation as to what led to this incident and how the situation was managed as part of our responsibilities to protect the public and serve all victims of crime.

"It is critical that appropriate steps are taken now to prevent this from happening again in the future. Alongside my colleagues across the country, I would like assurances from the Government and BT that no effort is being spared to tighten procedures to reduce any future risks to the service."

Police forces, ambulance services and fire and rescue services across the UK asked people not to phone 999 on Sunday June 25 due to a ‘technical fault’. People were instead urged to ring 101 while BT worked to repair the issue.

Communications watchdog Ofcom says it has launched an investigation into the incident.