Q484: What do the police class as an emergency/when should I call 999?
Listed below are a few examples of emergencies when it would be necessary to call 999. This is not however an exhaustive list and common sense must prevail.
General circumstances of an incident reported to the police, when there is or likely to be:
- danger to life
- use, or immediate threat of use, of violence
- Serious injury to a person and/or
- serious damage to property
- the crime is, or likely to be serious and in progress
- an offender has just been disturbed at the scene
- an offender has been detained and poses, or is likely to pose, a risk to other people
Road traffic accident
- involves, or is likely to involve, serious personal injury
- the road is blocked or there is a dangerous or excessive build up of traffic.
If you don't require an emergency response, you can contact your local police force via 101.
The SMS Emergency (e-SMS) service is provided for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, as an alternative option for contacting an emergency 999 service. You must register your mobile phone on the e-SMS website to be able to use this text service, please see the link in related information for details on how to register.