Page last updated at 15:13 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 16:13 UK

New 999 text service for disabled

A man with a mobile phone
The launch of the new text service coincides with Deaf Awareness Week

A new emergency text service for deaf and speech-impaired people is being launched by Sussex Police.

The new 65999 text number will enable those who cannot use a voice telephone to access the emergency services.

People can send a text starting with the word "police", "fire", "ambulance" or "coastguard", followed by their message, and get immediate help.

It will be dealt with by Sussex Police Control, who will reply to confirm receipt and then deal with the issue.

Ch Supt Chris Amber said the new system would ensure users could alert the emergency services quickly and effectively.

The launch of the new text service coincides with Deaf Awareness Week.

A similar service, using a different text number, was set up by Kent Police earlier this year.


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