If you are in need of emergency help quickly, calling 999 gets you through to the emergency services that you need (Fire, Police, Ambulance). There are times however, when calling the emergency services can put you in more danger than you may already be in or even times when you are unable to talk.
The good news is that even during those times, you can still use your mobile phone to alert the police that you need help with the use of the Silent Solution system. This is much more helpful than just calling 999 and remaining silent which often gets put through as a hoax call or they were found out to be accidental calls from mobile phones.
How to Make a Silent 999 Call
The Silent Solution system has actually been around since 2002 but is only really getting known about now. This allows the victim to press 55 on mobile phones to signify that they are unable to talk. The instructions are as follows:
- Dial 999
- Listen to the questions from the 999 operator
- Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can
- If prompted, press 55. This lets the 999 call operator know it’s a genuine emergency and you’ll be put through to the police
Make Yourself Heard
The ‘Make Yourself Heard’ campaign has been launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) today (8 April). The idea of this campaign is to inform everyone of the Silent Solution system and the steps that they need to take in order to silently alert the police that they are in need of assistance.
There are around 20,000 silent emergency calls that are made throughout the UK each and every day, with a quarter of these calls being transferred to the Silent Solution system if call handlers are unsure if they are genuine, after having received no response after 30 seconds.
The West Yorkshire Police website explains that “each day the 999 service receives large numbers of accidental 999 calls, particularly from mobile phones. “BT’s operators will attempt to confirm there is an emergency by asking the normal questions in order to receive a response. “If suspicious noises are heard, the call will be put through to the police or the caller will be asked to press or dial 55 which will also route the call to the police.” “BT operator will pass on to the police any information they have been able to establish and the police Customer Contact Centre Agent will then also attempt to assess if there is an emergency and the location of the caller.”