Why Do We Call the Police 12

Why Do We Call the Police 12?

The emergency number 911 has been widely recognized as the go-to for contacting the police in times of crisis. However, in some countries, including the United Kingdom, people dial 999 to reach emergency services. But what about the number 12? Why do we call the police 12? While it may not be as widely known, the number 12 has its significance in certain regions. In this article, we will explore why people call the police 12 and provide answers to some frequently asked questions about this peculiar emergency number.

Understanding the Origins of Calling the Police 12:

1. Historical Context:
The use of the number 12 to contact the police originates from the time of landline telephones. In the early days, rotary dial telephones were the norm, and the emergency number was dialed by turning the dial to the respective number. In the United Kingdom, the number 9 was already in use for long-distance calls. To avoid confusion, the number 1 was chosen for emergencies, and dialing it twice consecutively became the standard.

2. Simplicity and Memorability:
Using the number 12 for emergencies makes it easier for individuals to remember during a distressing situation. When faced with an emergency, it is crucial to have a simple, recognizable number to call, ensuring quick access to the necessary help.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. Is calling the police 12 common?
Calling the police 12 is not common worldwide. It is primarily used in the United Kingdom, particularly in Scotland.

See also  How Long Does It Take To Get a Court Date in Family Court

2. Can I call 12 in an emergency if I am not in the UK?
No, calling 12 will not connect you to emergency services outside the UK. It is always essential to know the appropriate emergency number for the region you are in.

3. What happens when you call 12?
When you dial 12 in the UK, you will be connected to the emergency services, including the police, fire department, or ambulance, depending on the nature of your emergency.

4. Can I use 12 for non-emergency situations?
It is best to reserve 12 for genuine emergencies. Non-emergency situations can often be handled by contacting the local police department through their non-emergency phone number.

5. Why isn’t 12 more widely known?
The number 12 is not as widely known because it is specific to the United Kingdom, while 911 and 999 are recognized by a broader audience due to their prevalence in other countries.

6. Can I text 12 during an emergency?
No, texting 12 will not connect you to emergency services. It is crucial to call 12 for immediate assistance.

7. Are there any plans to change the emergency number in the UK?
There have been discussions about changing the emergency number in the UK to three digits, similar to other countries, but no concrete plans have been announced.

8. What if I accidentally dial 12?
If you accidentally dial 12, it is essential to stay on the line and explain that it was a mistake. This will prevent emergency services from being dispatched unnecessarily.

9. Are there any disadvantages to calling the police 12?
One potential drawback is that individuals traveling from countries where 911 or 999 is used may have difficulty adjusting to the new emergency number. It is crucial to educate oneself about the emergency number of the region being visited.

See also  What Happens if a Defendant Does Not Appear in Court

10. Is 12 the only emergency number in the UK?
No, alongside 12, the emergency number 112 can also be used in the UK. It is a standard emergency number in many European countries.

11. Does 12 work on mobile phones?
Yes, like other emergency numbers, 12 can be dialed from any mobile phone in the UK, even without an active SIM card.

12. Are there any plans to change the number 12 in the future?
As of now, there is no official information regarding any plans to change the number 12 for emergency services in the UK.

While calling the police 12 may not be as well-known as other emergency numbers, it serves a vital purpose in the United Kingdom, ensuring that individuals in distress can quickly reach the necessary help. Whether it be a fire, medical emergency, or crime in progress, dialing 12 connects you to the appropriate authorities, ready to assist in your time of need.

Scroll to Top