Communicating with Police

In an emergency dial 111. Calling 111 is free from public telephones and mobile phones.

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.

Police in your communities

Ethnic and Asian liaison officers

Police have special officers working in ethnic communities around the country. They work with communities to help them understand and access police services, provide information to police about community concerns and to work with police investigating and preventing crime involving ethnic communities.

They are happy to listen to your concerns and work together with you to improve safety in ethnic communities.

Contacts

  • Ethnic liaison officers - To contact a liaison officer in your area who can help you access police services.
  • Local police - To find out where your local police station is and how to get in contact with your local police.