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Surrey Police issue advice over silent 999 calls 'myth'

999

Published by Josh Kerr at 5:01pm 11th February 2019.

Surrey Police have issued advice to clarify the truth around what to do if you can't speak to officers when dialling 999.

It follows posts on social media suggesting that your location can be tracked if you press 55 during an emergency call - something officers say isn't quite the case.

What happens if you can't speak when you dial 999?

If someone calls 999 and doesn’t speak, the BT operators will try to establish if the call is genuine by asking questions.

If no one speaks, but a disturbance can be heard, the call will be forwarded to police who will decide if officers are required.

If no noise is heard, the call will be forwarded to an automated service that will ask the caller to dial 55 (a service called Silent Solutions), which will direct the call to police.

Officers will then try and establish if there’s an emergency by asking questions that can be answered by tapping the handset, or with yes or no responses.

Can police track your location?

Calls from landlines can be linked to an address, but calls from mobile phones will only show a general location.

Police don’t always send officers to silent calls so you should give them as much information as you can.

They will then use other information, such as previous calls, to decide whether they need to send anyone.

What if you dial 999 by mistake?

Surrey Police say they receive more than 10,000 abandoned calls a year.

If you do accidentally dial 999, don't hang up - stay on the line to let the operator know it was a miss-dial so police don't need to return the call or send officers to check everything is okay.

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