Posted on: 24 March, 2023
A Government alert is set to automatically sound on mobile devices on April 23rd. This is to test a new system intended to be used in life-threatening situations. The alerts will appear on the home screens of a phone accompanied with a loud warning sound and vibration. The scheme will initially focus on the most severe weather-related events.
There is fear within the Domestic Abuse sector that this alert may reveal hidden second phones that victims/survivors of domestic abuse might keep for emergency use. The use of second phones is common, and the alert poses a potential risk to their safety.
Cranstoun have put together a video demonstrating how people who are victims/survivors of domestic abuse can silence the device safely. The only way to ensure that this is done safely is to turn the alert off via settings, the videos below outline how this can be done. The alert will also go to tablet devices that use 4G or have any form of mobile data.
Here is Alice Orme, Policy Researcher, demonstrating how this works on both iPhone and android devices:
The key guidance for people who are victims/survivors of domestic abuse is to follow the advice by turning off government alerts on secondary hidden phones at the earliest opportunity.
We advise turning off data, wifi or setting your phone to airplane mode for complete safety. If you are unable to deactivate alerts on your phone, then we recommend that you put your phone on airplane mode, until it is safe for an alert to go off later. The alert will sound as soon as the phone is turned off from airplane mode, so it is essential the person turning data back on is safe from a perpetrator.
Cranstoun will also be distributing our video across social media channels across all major platforms.
Please share our updates across networks. As we know, domestic abuse is tragically hidden and reaching as many people as possible may help to keep victims/survivors safe.
Additional notes are provided about the alert below, and you can see the government statement by following this link:
Reasons you will not get an alert (According to government documents)
You will not receive alerts if your device is:
- Turned off or in airplane mode
- Connected to a 2G or 3G network
- Wifi only
- Not compatible
Guidance for those using Android phones and tablets:
To begin you will need to go to the settings app
- Depending on what phone you will have to scroll across or down to find this
- Explain what the settings button looks like
- When it opens, you should see a search bar at the top of the page below ‘settings’
- Type into this search bar ‘emergency alerts’
- Click on the top option
- Once you are in there you can turn off the emergency alerts. Blue and right means that they are on. Tap them and they will move left and turn grey. Do this with all options
Guidance for those using Iphones
Open settings app. Describe settings button. If you can’t see it immediately you may need to scroll across.
- You will then need to open notifications on the settings menu.
- Once in the notifications area. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and you will see two options under emergency alerts.
- Green and to the right means they are on. Grey and to the left means they are off.
- Tap the toggle on right hand side and it should change from green to grey. If they are grey then you have turned off emergency alerts.
Guidance for older versions of Android and IOS
Go to messages app
- Click settings
- Then find Emergency alert settings
- There you can turn off emergency alerts
- You will only get these alerts if the phone has data capabilities. If your phone does not have the ability to use 4g/5g data then it will not be sent an alert.