Police Minister Paula Bennett, Communications Minister Simon Bridges and Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne, have announced the launch of a new caller location system for 111 mobile phone calls, which aims to improve public safety and help save lives.
In an emergency situation it will still be important for 111 callers to tell emergency services operators where they are. However, if the caller doesn’t know their address or exact whereabouts, the new system will automatically provide emergency services with a more precise location of a 111 caller than was previously the case.
A phone’s location services are switched on only when the 111 call is made and then returned to the caller’s original settings within 25 seconds of the 111 call being initiated. All location data will only be held for 60 minutes and will then be deleted.
Each year, there are more than two million calls to emergency services. Last year, more than 80 per cent of calls to 111 were made from a mobile phone, and Police recorded over 1,800 incidents where they had to make a special information request to a network provider for a caller’s location.
This new system will enable police, fire and ambulance services to respond more quickly to emergency events from mobile phones, as they will have more accurate information about the caller’s location, in a more timely manner.
Further info can be found in the New Zealand Government press release.
Click here to see an infographic about how the emergency caller location information system works.