Silent 999 Calls

How do West Yorkshire Police deal with 'silent' 999 calls?

There is a misconception that the police will always attend if you stay silent after calling 999 - this is not correct.

When you dial 999 anywhere in the UK, your call is answered by telephone operators from BT, who will then direct your call to the most appropriate emergency service.

Each day the 999 service receives large numbers of accidental 999 calls, particularly from mobile phones.  BT's operators will attempt to confirm there is an emergency by asking the normal questions in order to receive a response. If suspicious noises are heard, the call will be put through to the police or the caller will be asked to press/dial 55 which will also route the call to the police.

The BT operator will pass on to the police any information they have been able to establish and the police Customer Contact Centre Agent will then also attempt to assess if there is an emergency and the location of the caller.

IMPORTANT: West Yorkshire Police will NOT automatically have details of the location (particularly for mobile phones) so we can't automatically send police to your location.

West Yorkshire Police's Contact Management Centre Agents are very skilled in seeking information from callers who may not be in a position to communicate effectively, so for example tapping the handset in a way that answers the call handler’s questions can be utilised, or skilled use of closed questions (yes or no) enables the call handler to effectively get the most suitable response to the call.

The police Contact Management Centre Agent will do everything they can to assess the call, they will NOT always send a patrol - so it's important that you provide any information you can. Each call is assessed based on the the available information, this will include any previous calls to the police, but this still doesn't mean we know where you are. If you can't talk, listen to the police Customer Contact Centre Agent who will ask questions and give instructions to allow us to help.


If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please register now to join the emergency SMS system and other non-emergency tools we have available - details of the emergency SMS service are available here.