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What to do if you need urgent police help through the 999 service, but can’t speak
Calls from mobiles
“The Silent Solution” is a service that allows people in emergency situations to summon police without alerting an attacker that they are on the phone.
When someone calls 999 from a mobile phone the call is routed to a BT operator who asks which emergency service is required. If no-one responds, the operator must find out if the call is genuine or a ‘pocket dial’.
In this instance, callers are urged to make a noise – like coughing or tapping the phone – if they need help but can’t speak.
Police say that it is important to listen to the operator as they will then ask the caller to press ‘55‘ if the caller requires the police.
The ‘silent solution’ is only used for calls coming from mobile phones, as it is more likely that accidental calls will be made from them.
Calls from landlines
In the case of landline phone calls, if the BT operator doesn’t get any response to their questions, but can hear background noise, they’ll automatically forward the call to the police.
It is vitally important to listen to the call handler and cough or tape and press 55 when asked, so they know you are in real need of help.