Every day the police nationally receive thousands of accidental or hoax 999 calls. Differentiating a caller who

cannot speak but is in urgent need of police assistance can be a matter of life or death. Northumbria Police has been supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of a system that allows callers to alert police when in imminent danger when they are unable to speak.

Ringing 999 alone will not necessarily generate a police response. The Silent Solution system has been working in the UK for many years but its success depends on the public being aware of it. If you are in urgent need of police assistance and you dial 999 but, through fear of placing yourself or others in danger, you cannot speak, simply cough into or tap the handset. You can also follow the automated prompts that will follow and, when asked, press 55 on the keypad. This will identify to the call handler that you need the police urgently.

For further information, look at the Northumbria Police website.