When you need the police, do you know the different ways to contact them?


Sussex Police has created animated scenarios to reinforce how to contact the police.

In the two 90 second animations, members of the community share their experiences in choosing the most appropriate way to contact the police be that via their local prevention team, reporting online, calling 101 or 999. The animations include incidents of anti-social behaviour, drink driving, household burglary and distraction burglary.

Meet Saif, Tom and Beth below:

The animations are to get the public to think more about in what circumstances they need the police, so that their query, concern or crime report is dealt with by the right person first time.

Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor said: “I cannot stress how important it is that members of the public use the correct ways to contact the police. We still receive 999 calls that are not emergencies but on the flip side, also receive calls reporting crime on our local district numbers – which are intended for local concerns – where the member of the public should have dialled 999.

“For the public to know which channel to use in the first place, will support our commitment to keep our communities safe and feeling safe.

“Misplaced calls could endanger life, and mean we are not getting to where we need to be and protecting the most vulnerable.

“We want to make it clearer for people to get in touch with us in the most appropriate way.

“If you know who to call or contact, this will save you time by ensuring you speak to the correct person or organisation in the first instance.

”We have had to change the way we do things and the precept is now allowing us to strengthen local policing. This includes improving ways for the public to contact the police about non-emergency matters in ways that are convenient to them, including a new online portal for reporting incidents and contacting the police.”

Meet Sylvie, Anaya and Jack:

Last summer Sussex Police launched contact cards , which contain all the different ways you can get in touch. In continuing to help the police tackle crime effectively, the cards set out that you should:

• Call 999 in an emergency when a life is threatened and there is imminent danger (a crime is happening)
• Call 101, the non-emergency number, when you don’t require an urgent response.
• Report online at your convenience or when you don’t need to speak to anyone.
• Contact your local prevention team by email or phone for matters in your community.
• Visit your local police station.
• Text 65999 or TypeTalk on 18000 if you are hard of hearing or speech-impaired.

Commenting on Sussex Police’s Contact Campaign, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said: “I welcome the second phase of this important campaign which demonstrates a range of ways the public can contact Sussex Police as well as highlighting the most appropriate method of contact to use whilst showing the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The public still welcome traditional communication channels such as telephoning the police but a flexible and modern police force needs to offer other methods too, such as online, social media and email.

We expect our police service to be modern and flexible so, while it is absolutely right that there should be a range of ways we can contact the police if and when we need to, it is also important for the public to have the confidence to report crimes safe in the knowledge that their call will be answered in a timely fashion.

I will continue to monitor performance in this area through my monthly webcast Performance and Accountability meetings.”

The Sussex Police Force Command Control and Contact Department deals with more than 70,000 contacts per month. This figure includes a vast range of topics from someone reporting suspicious behaviour, reporting a car accident, through to issues which should be reported to a more appropriate organisation.

Over 580 emergency calls are received each day and the volume of calls has continued to rise each year. While most members of the public know when to dial 999, it is important to remind people so that police can respond to those members of the public who need them most.

If an emergency response is not required, but the police are still the right service to call then there are many options for making contact with officers, including 101. More than 1150 calls are made to 101 each day. Some of these, such as parking, are not police matters and callers are redirected to the relevant organisation.

The 101 number is for non-emergency issues; for example to report suspicious behaviour or to report a theft. If there is not a need to speak to someone, then the public can report onlinefor a number of things, including crimes and if a response is required, this will be actioned within 24 hours.

The public can also contact local prevention teams by email or phone to report non-emergency police matters or concerns in the community, although these channels are not for reporting crime. If a member of the public emails or telephones the local prevention team, they will respond to your enquiry within 72 hours.

The public can also visit Sussex Police by dropping into their local police station or community hub. All the details can be found online.

ACC Taylor adds: “There are many ways you can access the police and by letting people know the different ways to use our services we can be confident that we are effectively tackling local concerns and being there when we are needed the most.”

To find out what is happening in your area – witness appeals, crime updates, crime prevention advice, news and more, sign up to ‘In the Know’ email alerts and follow us on social media.

The ways to contact Sussex Police via our website are:
• Report online https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/report-online/ 
• If it is a local community enquiry contact your local policing team – for example Adur and Worthing District can be contacted at https://sussex.police.uk/adur-and-worthing/. To find your local team, visit this page https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/
• Other accessible contact methods for those with hearing or speech impairment https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/accessible-contact-methods/

Other services available online include:
• Make a complaint or give us feedback https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/make-a-complaint-or-give-us-feedback/
• Access information on for example ASB, Burglary, theft https://sussex.police.uk/advice/ 
• Report a hate crime https://sussex.police.uk/advice/protect-yourself-and-others/hate-crime/ 
• Make a general enquiry https://sussex.police.uk/advice/
• If you are calling in regard to the following; these are issues you need to speak to your local council about fly tipping, rubbish and bins. Noise nuisance is not a police matter. You need to contact your local council https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/report-online/report-noise-nuisance/

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