There is a rumour circulating on the internet at the moment, alleging that if you dial ’55’ during an emergency call, then the emergency services will be able to ‘track’ your current location.
We have also had quite a few people messaging us, asking if this ‘feature’ of being tracked during a 999 call is actually something that can/could happen.
This information is wrong.
Whilst it is a great idea, and current technology COULD enable this to happen, it is not currently a function that is ‘live’.
Accidental 999 calls happen all the time, but operators may be unable to tell if a silent call can actually be a real call for help.
The emergency services receive millions of calls every year, most of which result in a request being made for emergency services such as police, fire or ambulance to attend.
But, around 30 million calls a year do not follow the usual pattern, with no one speaking on the call.
However, The Home Office has (or at least it did as of July this year) had a system in place called Silent Solutions, which helps callers, such as domestic abuse victims, who cannot speak to an operator.
If you have been able to signal that your call is an emergency by coughing after dialling 999, then you will be put through to the police.
If you are in danger, you could be asked to dial “55” or to give any other indication whist on the line, otherwise the call could be terminated.
Dialling ’55’ is just one example and the control room staff could ask you to dial any numbers.
But, in summary, dialling ’55’ during a 999 call will not enable the emergency services to track your location.
If you make a 999 call but you are not able to speak, say, for example, someone is in your house, then the 999 control room will give you instructions in order to indicate to them that you are in need of help and that the call has not been made in error.
Generally any sort of sound that the BT operator is not sure about will result in the passing the call to the Police, even if the caller hangs up for whatever reason before they are connected.
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