We hope you never need to put this into practice – but just what do you do if you need to call the police but it’s too dangerous to talk?
Police have issued a reminder about what to do if you’re able to dial 999 but can’t speak up to ask for help.
The procedure to follow, which is called Silent Solutions, decides whether or not police are dispatched to the thousands of silent 999 calls they receive every day. They do not automatically attend silent calls, so don’t be in a situation where you don't know what to do.
So here it is.
When you dial 999 (or 112) the operator will ask what emergency service you require.
If there is no answer, the operator will ask you to cough or make some other audible indication that the call is an emergency and you need help.
If there is still no answer – perhaps the situation is too dangerous to make any sound at all - the call will be put through to an automated system which asks the caller to press '55' if the call is an emergency.
If this is not done then the call will be terminated and police will not attend, the Express and Echo explains.
A police spokesman said: "Please do not think that just because you dial 999 that police will attend.
"We totally understand that sometimes people are unable or too afraid to talk, however it must be clear that we will not routinely attend a silent 999 call.
"There must be some indication that the call has not been mis-dialled."
Last November, a mother whose daughter was murdered by her jilted partner said she felt "absolutely let down" by the police and its '"silent solutions" system.
This led to the Independent Police Complaints Commission calling for a review of the process.
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