In an emergency, call the police - 999

Calling 999 but can't speak out loud?

If you need to call the police but are unable to speak out loud, don't worry, there are other ways to engage with the operator.

If you are able to, you can make yourself heard by coughing or tapping the handset, however this might not always be an option.

Calling from a mobile

If you are calling 999 from a mobile and cannot speak during the call, you will be transferred to the Silent Solution system and prompted to dial 55. This will inform police that it is an emergency and that they should attend the scene.

Calling from a landline

If you are calling 999 from a landline and cannot speak during the call there are three things the operator will look for to then transfer to a police call handler:

  • there is no request for an emergency
  • the caller does not answer questions
  • only background noise can be heard and operators cannot decide if an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler as there is doubt

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick it up again.

If you pick up again during this 45 seconds and the operator is concerned for your safety, the call will be connected to police.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about where you’re calling from should be automatically available to the call handlers to help give a response.



We do not offer direct support to people experiencing domestic abuse but here is a list of charities that do. We have also listed some specialist support services and resources that might be helpful.

If you are worried about someone knowing you have visited this site, Women's Aid have some great advice about covering your tracks online


National support helplines