How to call 999 when you’re unable to speak

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Nottinghamshire Police have issued advice on what residents should do if they need to call 999 when they can’t speak.

There may be circumstances where you need to request immediate help from police officers, but risk putting yourself or others in more danger by speaking.

There could be any number of reasons for this, for example alerting someone to your location, or to the fact that you’re dialling 999.

When you call 999, the operator will ask which service you require.

If you don’t respond, you are then connected to the silent solutions service hosted by the Metropolitan Police where you are prompted to tap the handset, cough or make a noise.

You’ll then be given the option to press 55 to be put through to your local police force as an emergency caller.

If you don’t respond to any of these options, police have to terminate the call to allow them to deal with other incoming calls.

This is because police do receive hoax calls alongside misdials and the occasional call from an inquisitive toddler.

The process is designed to allow people to inform call handlers that their call is a genuine emergency, without having to put themselves in danger.

This works with the current threat advice of RUN, HIDE, TELL, where you are advised to put your phone on silent and may be unable to speak to the police.

Police won’t automatically have exact details of your location once you’ve been put through to the Control Room but say they will do their best to assess the situation and find out where you are.

The operator might need to ask questions that require you to tap the screen to respond.

Once they have got enough information, they can assess the call and respond accordingly.