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Emergency Calls

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 11 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the centralised emergency services number 999 following the impact of the recent week's events on the number of calls; and if she will make a statement. (153572)

I have been asked to reply.

Operational issues relating to the 999 service fall to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Officials from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform played an active role in the response by the Telecoms industry to the flooding during the summer. I followed the situation closely and met representatives of the telecommunications industry and some of the businesses affected by the floods. One of the key objectives of the telecoms industry response was to maintain the 999 service and the availability of the service to the public was not seriously affected by the conditions. The situation did lead to increased demand on the service and the emergency services were pressed in handling this increased number of calls.