Silent 999 Calls
There is a misunderstanding
that police will always attend when a silent 999 call is received - this is not
When you call 999 in the UK, your call is answered
by a BT or Cable & Wireless emergency operator, who will direct
your call to the most appropriate emergency service.
If the caller does not respond to the operator to indicate which
service they require, they will be transferred to the automated
Silent Solutions system. This uses a voice message to ask the
caller to confirm they require an emergency service by pressing the
digit ‘5’ on their phone twice.
If the caller presses the digit ‘5’ twice they will be transferred
to the originating emergency operator and the call will be dealt
with as normal with enquiries made to try and find the caller.
Police will not automatically have details of where you are –
particularly for mobile phones - so we can’t automatically send
police to your location.
Every day the
999 service receives a large number of accidental
particularly from mobile phones. Each call is assessed on the
available information, such as any previous calls to the police,
but will not necessary mean we know where you are. If you are
unable to speak, listen to the call operator who will ask questions
and give instructions to help you.
Our control room operators are skilled in seeking information from
callers who may not be in a position to communicate fully. For
example they ask you to cough or tap the phone in response to
specific questions in an attempt to pinpoint your location.