Three digit numbers

Throughout the UK, there are short codes reserved for use only by special services. These numbers include access to emergency services and healthcare professionals and are in use across Scotland, England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. These three-digit short codes are simple and easy to remember, which them ideal for these services that are often needed in an emergency.

Some short codes are also reserved for telephone services and for call management. These codes are also three digits but are reserved for use by telecom companies to provide specific assistances to customers. These can be things like operator assistance or directory inquiry.

Three-digit codes for emergency services


This code is used to contact the police when you require assistance but do not need an emergency response. This could be something like a theft that has already taken place or a minor traffic incident. It can also be used to make general inquiries or find out more information.


If your power is unexpectedly cut, this is the number you should call to report it. This will allow your electricity provider to get to work on fixing it or discovering the issue. This is the number you should also call if you see anything that could cause a power issue or be a danger to someone. This number does not service Northern Ireland.


If you have an urgent—but not life-threatening—medical issue, you can call 111 to be put in touch with NHS’ urgent care advice line. This line will give you access to medical advice on a range of conditions. This short code works in England and Scotland only.

112 & 999

Both the 112 and the 999 short codes are for emergency services. This includes police, ambulance, firefighters, and the coast guard. These numbers are only to be used for life-threatening situations, crimes that are in progress, or other major incidents that require immediate response. The 112 short code works throughout the EU, while 999 is for the UK only.

Three-digit codes for telephone services


This code provides operator assistance for when you’re making a call or having issue getting connected to another UK line. You can also use it for an alarm call or to request a reverse-charge call.


This short code is used for directory inquiry services. These short codes are used when you want to find a specific telephone number or address of a residence, business or government organization. They used to be quite costly to call, but have become more affordable in recent years.


Dialing ‘123’ will give you access to the speaking clock to tell you the exact time. However, not all operators have access to it and it does cost to call.


If you want to withhold your outgoing number, you must dial ‘141’ before calling the number you want to reach. This will prevent phone number from appearing on the caller display of the person you are calling. This service is not used as often now that many mobile devices permit blocking of outgoing numbers right from the device.


Dialing ‘150’ on your mobile device or landline gives you access to your provider’s customer service. You can use this to check charges, services, and other elements of your plan.


This short code connects you to an international operator for when you’re having trouble connecting to a number that’s outside the UK.

Cost to call three-digit short codes

The costs of calling three-digit short codes vary widely based on the services being provided. Some, like 118 numbers, can be prohibitively expensive. Most emergency lines are free to call, including 112, 999, 111, and 105. Calls to 101 cost 15p per minute.

Other UK Phone Codes