Silent 999 calls: Please don’t just hang up – tell us you are safe

If you make an accidental 999 call, don’t hang up – stay on the line to tell us you are safe.

Police forces across the country have seen a rise in silent 999 call in recent weeks – and we are seeing also seeing a rise here in Cumbria.

Such ‘silent calls’ can be where the person making the call is not aware they have done so, and the operator cannot hear anyone on the line.

Where such calls are made and people hang up, it can significantly impact our resourcing as officers need to conduct a range of checks to ensure you are safe and well.

Nationally, all emergency services are currently experiencing record high 999 call volumes, which is for a number of reasons, but it is believed that there has been a significant impact as a result of an update to Android smartphones.

If you have an Android phone, you can check your emergency settings to turn off the functionality added in the latest update.

Go to ‘Settings’ then ‘Safety and Emergency’ and slide the button which says ‘Emergency SOS’ to switch the functionality off.

Calls to 999 where the operator cannot hear anyone on the line (silent calls) are never just ignored. Call handlers will then need to spend valuable time trying to call you back to check whether you need help.

If you do accidentally dial 999, please don’t hang up. If possible, please stay on the line and let the operator know it was an accident and that you don’t need any assistance.

As always, if a crime is in progress or if there is an immediate risk to person or property, always dial 999.

If a crime is not in progress, then please consider reporting the incident online at in the first instance online at

Alternatively, you can call 101.

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