April 24, 2023 12.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Concerns from Lincolnshire people who didn’t receive government alert

Did you receive it?

The government tested its UK Emergency Alerts service on Sunday, but not everyone received it and some had other concerns.

The scheduled alert at 3pm on Sunday, April 23 should have sent a message to the home screen of all mobile phones, along with a sound and vibration for up to 10 seconds.

Although it worked for some, it left others very frustrated, including those on the Three UK network. Three UK later said “a number of customers have not received the test alert” and that it was working closely with the government “to understand why and ensure it doesn’t happen when the system is in use”.

Some on the O2 and Vodafone networks also reported difficulty, according to the Guardian. It also reported users whose phones have not received a software update in more than two years, and those who were not within reach of a 4G or 5G network, were not expected to successfully receive it.

It wasn’t purely down to which phone network as some appeared to suggest. David Scott said: “Wife and myself both have the same phone, both on the same network – hers worked, mine didn’t.”

It is important to note that it was a test so that any issues found can be resolved.

Some people pressed a button quickly to stop the sound and the notification vanished before they could read what it said.

People gave their views and criticisms to The Lincolnite, including Toni Hunter who was sat in the Crown & Arrows pub in Lincoln at the time of the alert.

Toni said: “Most people’s went off at 2.58pm, some at 3pm, 3.02pm and another at 3.10pm. If there is ever a four minute warning situation, some are going to be at a disadvantage.

“Out of six of us at table, two went off early, one flashed up on screen but no alarm sound and three never went off at all.

“All still got the message flash up asking if we wanted to have emergency alerts in future. Two of ours disappeared before we could click yes. Good job they did a trial run first so they can get it right when there is a real emergency.”

Some were surprised it wasn’t as loud as expected, but it certainly caught the attention of Sam Jay who said: “I was concentrating on an assessment question for my course using my phone. I completely forgot it was going to happen and s**t myself.

“My phone flew upwards and then landed on my desk. Now I’m a nervous wreck. I need to get back to it.”

The volume of the sound was also questioned by some people, including Paul Ekins who said: “Mine went off, but just curious with that noise if it caused any accidents on the roads considering the wet conditions?”

Amina GH said: “The alert sounded terrifying, I legit thought the phone was about to explode. Also, what is the logic behind it? How much time would we have to save ourselves in case of a real emergency? Eight mins?”

There were also some concerns prior to Sunday’s alert with domestic abuse charities saying it could give away secret phones people experiencing abuse are keeping hidden, according to Sky News.

One Lincolnite reader said: “If you are living with domestic abuse and have a secret/safe phone please disable your settings. It will sound even if your phone is on silent. Refuge have produced a YouTube video on how to do this.”

MyLocal Lincolnshire is the new home of The Lincolnite. Download the app now