New national service for Deaf BSL users to contact emergency services

From Friday 17 June 2022, Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users will be able to contact the police and other UK emergency services in their first language using the 999 BSL service.

999 BSL is a national service that connects BSL users to British Sign Language Interpreters remotely through an app or a web-based platform (, who then will relay the conversation with the call handler and emergency authorities.

Detective Chief Inspector Gabe Snuggs, force lead for Deaf Access said: “We welcome the introduction of the 999 BSL service. This service will help enhance our existing methods for deaf people to contact the police.

“The service has been set up so Deaf BSL users are not excluded when they need to make an emergency call, therefore saving lives.

“Inclusion is vitally important for Hampshire Constabulary and our officers and staff are working hard to provide the best service that we can to our diverse communities”.

The YouTube video below gives a short introduction on how the service works.