The UK's 101 and 111 non-emergency telephone numbers are currently inaccessible by the public following a behind-the-scenes failure.
Sources told The Register that a variety of phone numbers behind the system went down from around 13:12 BST (12:12 UTC).
Numerous police forces from across the UK took to Twitter to ask the public not to phone 101. The number is used for reporting non-emergency situations to the force and the other emergency services.
The outage will have an impact on UK COVID-19 tracking data because at least some parts of the government are using NHS 111 triage statistics to inform their response to the ongoing pandemic.
The Register verified that neither 101 nor 111, in the London area at least, were connecting calls placed to them. Police said 999, the actual emergency number, is not affected.
We are currently experiencing some technical issues with our 101 lines. Please only call 999 if it's an emergency.— Met Contact Centre (@MetCC) June 19, 2020
You can still use our online reporting tools below:
or Tweet @MetCC https://t.co/DScVyh5jNb pic.twitter.com/2vUHPsspDG
We are currently experiencing issues with our 101 non-emergency number.— East Lothian Police (@EastLothPolice) June 19, 2020
If you have an emergency please call 999.
If your query is not urgent, a report can be made via our website: https://t.co/rwXThMB7YU pic.twitter.com/W18csZtcZ9
There is currently a national issue with the 101 non-emergency service.— Kent Police (UK) (@kent_police) June 19, 2020
Should you require to contact Kent Police for non-emergency matters, please go to our Live Chat service (https://t.co/xFWTLKmTfo) or dial 01622 690690.
Please note the 999 emergency service is not affected.
A number of National Health Service organisations also took to Twitter to warn Britons not to be worried about the non-emergency health service number becoming inaccessible.
Some people are currently experiencing issues with the NHS 111 phone service. If you need urgent medical advice, you can still visit https://t.co/qCboPYoiIz— East Riding CCG (@EastRidingCCG) June 19, 2020
Vodafone is responsible for the systems underpinning 101 and 111. As well as non-emergency numbers, the outage appears to originate from a Vodafone network problem that has taken down the entire telco's network, with – judging by Twitter moans – business and consumer customers alike being affected.
Hey! We're aware of a current network outage and we're working hard to get this resolved as quickly as we can! We'll keep everyone update once we're back to normal again. Joe— Vodafone UK (@VodafoneUK) June 19, 2020
We have asked Vodafone for comment and will update this article once we hear back from it.
Back in 2014 a similar outage happened that also led to 101 and 111 going down for several hours.