Skip directly to content

How to alert the police if you are in imminent danger but need to keep quiet

on Mon, 08/04/2019 - 3:26pm

If you’re in an emergency situation and need police help, but can’t speak, Make Yourself Heard and let the 999 operator know your call is genuine.

All 999 calls are directed to call centres and will be answered by BT operators. They will ask which service you need. If no service is requested but anything suspicious is heard throughout the process, BT operators will connect you to a police call handler. 

It is always best to speak to the operator if you can, even by whispering. You may also be asked to cough or tap the keys on your phone in response to questions.

If making a sound would put you or someone else in danger and the BT operator cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, your call will be transferred to the Silent Solution system.

The Silent Solution is a police system used to filter out large numbers of accidental or hoax 999 calls. It also exists to help people who are unable to speak, but who genuinely need police assistance. You will hear an automated police message, which lasts for 20 seconds and begins with ‘you are through to the police’. It will ask you to press 55 to be put through to police call management. The BT operator will remain on the line and listen. If you press 55, they will be notified and transfer the call to the police. If you don’t press 55, the call will be terminated. Pressing 55 does not allow police to track your location.

When transferred to your local police force, the police call handler will attempt to communicate with you by asking simple yes or no questions. If you are not able to speak, listen carefully to the questions and instructions from the call handler so they can assess your call and arrange help if needed.

Don't forget: your mobile phone doesn't neccessarily need to be showing good signal strength for you to be able to call the emergency services - 999 calls are automatically connected to the strongest network signal that your phone can find, irrespective of who your mobile phone service provider is.

More information:-