Short codes special numbers are reserved for a range of services including the emergency services and healthcare professionals.  These numbers work across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in most all cases.

Emergency services

  • 101

This is for police enquiries to report a minor traffic incident or a crime that doesn’t need an emergency response.  It can also be used to make general enquiries. Calls cost 15p per minute

  • 105

This is for power cuts and emergencies with the electricity network so if your power has gone out or you have noticed something that could cause damage or injure someone relating to the power network.  Calls are free, and the line doesn’t serve Northern Ireland.

  • 111

This is the NHS urgent care advice line where you can get medical advice on a range of conditions that are urgent but not life-threatening.  The line is a free one to call and operates in England and Scotland only.

  • 112, 999

This is for all the emergency services including police, fire, ambulance and the coast guard.  These numbers are for life-threatening situations, crimes in progress or other major incidents.  The 112 number works throughout the EU while 999 calls are for the UK only.


  • 116000

This is the missing people line for help and assistance when someone either goes missing or runs away.  Calls are free.

  • 116111

Childline is a free and confidential counselling and helps for children aged 19 or under.  Lines are free to call.

  • 116123

The Samaritans is an emotional support and listening service.  Lines are free to call.

Telephone services and call management

  • 100

Operator service for assistance when making a call or if you are having trouble getting connected to another line in the UK.  You can also use it to request a reverse-charge call or an alarm call. Charges can vary.

  • 118

There are over 400 different directory enquiry services that start with the number 118.  Charges to call these lines vary.

  • 123

The Speaking Clock is a service to tell you the exact time.  Not all operators can access it and charges to call vary.

  • 141

Withhold outgoing number is a service that you dial before ringing a number to stop your number appearing on the caller display of the person you are ringing or on their Call Return service.  Free to call.

  • 1470

Reveal outgoing number is for customers who have opted to permanently withhold their number when they call someone but want to be able to reveal their number on a one-off basis so call this before ringing the number.  Free to call.

  • 1471

Call Return is the service let you find out the last number and time of call to ring your phone line.  It works for landlines only and is free to call.

  • 1475

This is the Call Return erase to delete the most recent call details on the 1471 service.  It is only offered by selected landline companies and is free to call.

  • 150

Customer services for your landline or mobile provider, this number can be used to check services, charges and other elements of your service.  Call costs vary.

  • 155

This is for the international operator and is to help when you are having trouble calling a number outside the UK.  Charges for these calls vary.

  • 1571

Landline voicemail services can be accessed through this number including checking and retrieving voicemail messages on your landline if you have activated this service.  It works for landlines only and charges vary.

Services for disabled users

There are a series of special access codes for services including text to speech services for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • 18000

Text relay to the emergency services line for police, fire, ambulance and coast guard.

  • 18001

Make a text relay call by using this number in front of any line.  If the caller doesn’t have a textphone then an intermediary will convert the text into speech and vice versa.

  • 18002

Call a text relay user from this service and if you don’t have a textphone then an intermediary will convert text to speech and vice versa.

  • 195

Directory enquiries for blind or disabled customers, this is a free service for those who cannot use the phone book.

  • 198

Special assistance operator is available by calling this number in place of the normal ‘100’ operator service.

Changes to the text relay service mean that the prefixes 18001 and 18002 don’t always need to be used as the phone system will automatically route the call to intermediaries when someone is using a textphone.

New numbers

The EU has proposed that 116006 is a new national crime victim support helpline while 116117 is for on-call medical services.  These numbers are being considered by Ofcom but have not yet come into service.