A new system has been put in place by Cambridgeshire Police to protect people afraid to talk once dialling 999.
Dialling 55 after calling emergency services will alert police operators that you are in need of assistance but cannot speak. A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: “There are many different reasons why someone may need to call the police. “In some situations, the caller may not be able to speak due to needing to keep the call private to protect their safety.
“Most people will be surprised to know just how many accidental 999 calls are answered by operators in the UK every single day. “Police operators will try to distinguish if the call is genuine or what is commonly known as a ‘pocket dial’ by answering a series of questions. “If there are slight noises such as breathing that lead the operator to think someone is in fact on the other end of the line and cannot talk, the call taker will ask the individual to dial 55 to make it clear they cannot talk.
“Dialling 55 will then send the call through to the police, who can try to locate the caller and send out assistance if it is believed the call is an emergency.” The force spokesman added: “It is important to note the force does not automatically have details of the caller’s location so cannot send automatic assistance, particularly if the caller is using a mobile phone.”