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There is a potentially life-saving function that enables members of the public to call the emergency services silently, but it’s not new. It has existed for the past 15 years, but very few people are aware of its existence.

Just imagine, you are hiding from an attacker, or unable to speak due to bad car accident. What do you do? If you can still reach your phone there is a solution.

Simply dial 999, then press ’55’ when given the option to do so… and that’s it! The operator on the other end of the line will know that the call is real, so they will trigger a response vehicle using the co-ordinates sent to their screen by the your phone.

Hundreds of thousands of silent 999 calls are made to the police annually, with operators using the ‘silent solution’ to help filter out accidental calls.

When you call 999 you will always get a reply, however if there is no answer, the operator will then ask you to cough, or make another audible sign that you’re in need of police assistance.

If 55 isn’t dialled, a 999 service will not be dispatched. So remember that number, it could save your life.