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UK lags in emergency number 112 awareness
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An EU-wide survey released today shows that citizens in the UK – along with those in Greece and Italy – are among those less likely to know about the European emergency number 112. The same survey also shows that just over a quarter (26%) of EU citizens questioned could spontaneously identify 112 as the number to call the police, fire brigade or ambulance services from anywhere in the EU. In the UK less than 10% are aware of it.

To mark "European 112 Day" on 11th February, the European Commission is urging Member States to step up their efforts to increase public awareness of the number.

Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda said: "The European emergency number "112" saves lives, but only if people know about it. Member States must do more to ensure that everyone knows they can dial "112" in an emergency."

The European emergency number 112 can be reached free of charge from fixed and mobile phones in all EU Member States (IP/08/1968). Denmark, Finland, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and Sweden have also decided to make 112 their own main national emergency number. Moreover, 112 is being picked up outside the EU, such as in Croatia, Montenegro and Turkey. Ukraine has also planned to introduce this number.

    UK lags in emergency number 112 awareness

    Targeting travellers
    Since July 2009, people who use their mobile phone or devices while roaming in another EU country must receive an SMS or alert message from the network operators with information about 112. However, in the survey, 81% of EU citizens who travel to another Member State claim not to have received this information. Under the new EU telecoms rules to be implemented by May 2011, information must also be made available for travellers, for example in airports, train stations and international bus terminals.

    The Commission's 112 website
    Video to raise awareness of 112: and
    How 112 works in my country:
    Kids' corner (available in all 23 official EU languages):
    Last Flash Eurobarometer "The European Emergency Number 112"

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only

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    Last update: 16/02/2011  |Top