Communicating with Police

Calling 111 - in emergency situations

In an emergency dial 111.

Calling 111 is free from public telephones and mobile phones.

When you dial 111 you will be asked which emergency service you want: Police, Fire or Ambulance.

For Police an emergency is anything that is happening now, or has just happened, where:

  • People are in danger
  • Property is in danger of loss or damage
  • A crime is being, or has just been committed, and the person or persons responsible for it are nearby
  • There is a major public inconvenience

In non-emergency situations, such as a lost passport or reporting a crime like burglary which happened some time ago and where there is no immediate danger, you should personally go to your local police station.

Reporting to a police station - non-emergency situations

In non-emergency situations, such as a lost passport or reporting a crime like burglary which happened some time ago, you can either report by telephoning your nearest police station, or in most situations, you need to personally visit a police station to make an official report.

When you go to the police station to report a crime or make a complaint you should receive a Complaints Acknowledgement Form. This form includes a file number and the name of the officer dealing with your complaint.

Once you have made your report police should respond within a reasonable time. If you have questions about your report you should telephone or visit the police station again and tell them the file number.

Lost Passport - when reporting a lost passport, you must give the passport number to police.

Language and communication difficulties

If you have difficulty communicating with police because of language, some options available include: 

  • A friend or family member. You may use a friend or family member as your interpreter for talking to the Police.
  • Language Line. Police can provide an interpreter on the telephone. This is a free service called Language Line. Ask for Language Line when you call police or visit a police station and tell them what language you speak. Language Line is only available from 9:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday and Saturday between 9am-2pm.
  • Bilingual communications staff. A number of our communications staff are bilingual, covering about 18 languages in total, including Mandarin. 

    When communicating to Police, ensure you’re able to tell an English-speaking person which language you do speak using the English terminology.

    Regardless of the language you speak, don’t hesitate to call 111 in an emergency.