'Make Yourself Heard’ campaign raising awareness of silent 999 system
West Yorkshire Police are reminding people of a national campaign to raise awareness of a system to help alert police when in imminent danger but unable to speak.
The Silent Solution system enables a 999 mobile caller unable to to make a noise, or speak, to press 55 when prompted – to inform police they are in a genuine emergency.
The system is well-established in the UK but is only effective if the public know and understand how it works.
If someone dials 999, they will initially go through to BT who ask what emergency service they require. If a keypress of 55 is detected during the call to the BT operator, BT will relay this to a police call handler and tell them that ’55 is detected’.
Call handlers are trained to deal with this situation and will make attempts to communicate with the caller using button presses.
They may ask them to press a key twice for ‘yes’ or once for ‘no’. The police call handler will stay on the line and guide them through the call. They will also be listening out for any background noise or signs of disturbance – if this is detected then further investigation into the situation or location is possible.
It could, in extreme situations, potentially save a life.