New location system for mobile 111 calls

A new location system will help emergency services pinpoint where calls are coming from in order to send the right service to the right place. File photo.

A new caller location system for 111 mobile phone calls is expected to improve public safety and help save lives.

Police Minister Paula Bennett, Communications Minister Simon Bridges and Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne made the announcement today.

“The new system will automatically provide emergency services with a probable location of a caller when they dial 111,” says Paula.

“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 is currently the case.”

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 more than 1800 incidents where they had to make a special information request to a network provider for a caller's location.

“Where people can't give an accurate address emergency services can experience real difficulty pinpointing the caller's location,” says Peter.

“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.”

The level of location accuracy will still vary depending on a number of factors such as the type of mobile phone and the location source available.

“This solution sees New Zealand leading the way in emergency response systems, alongside the United Kingdom and other European countries. New Zealand is the first country outside of Europe to go live with Google's Android Emergency Location service nationally,” says Simon.

“Technology is changing the way people and communities interact. As we continue to use technology to improve New Zealand, it's important that we strike a balance between innovation, security and privacy protection.”

Simon says the project team worked closely with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to address any privacy concerns in developing the new system.

“I appreciate that some people may have concerns around privacy, which is why the 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.”

Further information about the Emergency Caller Location Information system is available, here.

1 Comment

youve got to be kidding

Posted on 10-05-2017 11:13 | By old trucker

i rung this no about 3 weeks ago and by they go through all the rig marole of if you want to know about someone in custody or some one is commiting a offence and all the other jargon, please wait for someone to take your call, well it takes forever,and then they put you through the ringer, and say how do you know about this, what is the nearest sideroad etc, well when you are out in the middle of the country how do you know the nearest rd, then the go mad,we have to know this, anyway, They should answer straight away, without all this other jargon and NOT put us through the hoops, they will never learn,my thoughts only,in the end i hung up and turned my mobile off, im sorry i rung you with this emergency,Sunlive is No1,Thankyou 10-4.

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