In the dark days which have followed the worst attack on British soil in over ten years I think it’s only fair to say that a lot of people across the UK are feeling more anxious and vigilant than ever before.
Walking through a busy city street – things you may have seen last week and ignored are now ringing gargantuan alarm bells – especially since the terror threat level was raised from severe to critical.
While the majority of occurences that will make your blood rush are almost certainly nothing at all if you do find yourself in a situation where you need police assistance immediately but can’t speak out loud then there is a ‘silent solution’.
So let us begin at the beginning. Something has happened and terrified you to your core – it may be a hostage situation, it may be a person acting strangely, it may be a suspicious package. That doesn’t matter.
All that matters for now is that you are very anxious but you can’t just ring the police because you’re scared to make a sound.
So what do you do?
If you dial 999 the BT Operator will ask which emergency service you require.
If there is no request, the operator will ask you to cough or make some form of indication that the call is an emergency.
If there is still no request then 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.
So, if you should find yourself in a situation where you’re unable to request help from the police out loud, just remember to dial ’55’ on request in order to get the help you need.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.