London, England, Oct 9, 2019 -- There is a misconception that the police will always attend if you stay silent after calling 999 - this is not correct, there is a way to make a call when you really can't talk.
When you dial 999 anywhere in the UK, your call is answered by telephone operators from BT, who will then direct your call to the most appropriate emergency service.
The following advice is from West Yorkshire Police.
Why doesn't phoning 999 and staying silent work?
Each day the 999 service receives large numbers of accidental 999 calls, particularly from mobile phones.
Operators will attempt to confirm there is an emergency by asking the normal questions in order to receive a response - even if this is coughing or tapping on the handset.
Press 55 - this then tells the police that the call is a genuine emergency
If suspicious noises are heard, the call will be put through to the police or the caller will be asked to press/dial 55 which will also route the call to the police.
The 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.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
About West Yorkshire Police:
West Yorkshire Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing West Yorkshire in England. It is the fourth largest force in England and Wales by number of officers, with 5671 officers.
Published: Friday, October 11, 2019
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