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If You Need to Call the Police

by CSide_Watch - 00:13 on 28 April 2017

So, you need to call the Police – what will happen?

When you call 101 which is the dedicated non-emergency line for the Police, your call will cost you 15p – no matter what time of day you call or how long you are on the phone.

Your call is directed to a “call centre” which may be located close to where you live or it may be on the other side of your Policing area.  For those who are hard of hearing, the number for you to call is text-phone 18001 101.

1.     Remember, you are not calling your local Police station, the person you are speaking with, will not know any colloquial names that are used for your area so keep to proper names – if you live in an isolated area, try to give your GPS or eastings and northings coordinates as this will help a great deal! If you take a look at this part of my Twitter blog you will see instructions on how to find out what your eastings and northings are.

2.     As you call 101, it is the same number for all Forces throughout the UK – the system should work out your location and to connect you to a call handler in the call centre for your local area; this makes sure that your needs are met.  If the system cannot locate where you are calling from, you’ll be connected by the operator to the appropriate call centre where the call will be handled in the usual way.

3.     If you wish to speak with a specific Officer or PCSO and you know his/her “collar number” as well as name, this is the time to give it. You are able to leave a message if you wish a call back, you can request an email to be sent to them on your behalf or ask for a home visit but you must remember that if the Officer you are trying to reach is on rest days, annual leave or carrying out investigations it may not be the same day.  If you need to speak with someone quickly then you are better asking for any Officer in your area.

4.     If you are reporting a crime on 999 or calling in information on 101, it is important to stay as calm as possible (I appreciate that it’s not easy, especially if you have been a victim of a crime) and give as much information as you are able; if you are able to call immediately while it is fresh in your mind, that is better for all concerned. The more information you are able to give, the better opportunity for Officers to detect the crime or act upon the information you are giving them.

5.     Social media can be a powerful tool – but – please don’t post information before telephoning the Police, they need to know first; if it is a crime you are reporting, the Police will issue you with an incident number which is vital for insurance companies as they may not reimburse you without one.

It’s easy in the heat of the moment to make assumptions and accuse others on social media but keep suspicions off social media …. help the Police by being sensible. Most important, never give out someone’s name you suspect or accuse them over social media – this can lead to “he says, she says” and can cause huge issues for the Police when trying to detect the crime.

So, a quick recap for dialling 999 or 101

  • keep calm if you can
  • give as much information as possible
  • only use social media after you’ve reported your crime or given information
  • never “name names” on social media – it can taint a prosecution or can get you prosecuted if those you name are innocent!
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