When to contact us

How do you call the police? What happens when you call them?

This section looks at how you can contact us and what happens when you ring 999 and why you should never make a prank call.

You can also fill in an online form if you want to get in touch with us, maybe to tell us what you think of this website.

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Prank Calls
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Ringing the 999 number and pretending that there is an emergency when there isn’t one, is making a prank call.

Some people think that making a prank call is a funny thing to do, but actually it’s a really stupid idea…


If an operator is dealing with a prank call they are not available to help someone who really does have an emergency. Imagine how you would feel if you rang up about a real emergency and couldn’t get an answer straight away.

If the operator doesn’t realise that a call is a prank they might send a police officer to deal with the problem. If the police officer is busy going to a prank call they are not available to go to the real emergency.

Did you know that Norfolk police can trace a call?

When Norfolk Police receive a 999 phone call, they are able to find out the number of the phone from which the call is made.

If you ring from a building the police will know which building the call came from. If you ring from a mobile, the police can find out who owns the mobile… and if you ring from a public payphone, not only will the police be able to find the payphone you might even be caught on CCTV cameras making the call!

Making prank 999 calls is against the law. Imagine how embarrassed you would be being caught doing something so stupid!

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Calling 999
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You should only ring 999 on the phone if you are calling about an emergency.

If it is a non-emergency, then you need to phone 101.

There are different kinds of emergencies, here are some examples:

  • Someone’s life is in danger (For example, a car crash happens and people in the car need help)
  • There is a risk that someone could seriously hurt themselves or somebody else (For example you might see somebody threatening somebody else with a weapon, like a knife)
  • A crime is happening or about to happen (For example you see someone breaking into a house or a car).

You should never call the police as a joke or for a laugh. This is called a hoax call and is a really stupid thing to do. 


What happens when you ring 999?

When you dial 999, a person called an operator will answer the phone.

The operator will ask you which emergency service you need. If you're not sure you should explain what has happened and ask the operator to decide.

You will then speak to someone who will ask you some questions. Try to stay calm and answer any questions as clearly as you can.

If you do not understand the question, ask the person to explain it to you.

You might be asked to stay on the line, so do not put the phone down until you are told to.