2. 999 when to call | Norfolk Constabulary

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2. 999 when to call

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When to call 999

You should always call 999 if:

  • you or someone else is in immediate danger
  • if the crime is in progress
  • you need police help immediately.

This could include:

  • someone using violence or threatening violence
  • if there is a danger to life
  • serious damage is being or could be caused to a property
  • a potential criminal has been disturbed or stopped
  • a road traffic accident where someone is hurt or a danger is being caused to other road users.

If the matter is not an emergency, dial 101.

If you are unsure whether to call us, please check our adviceservices and Ask the Police's FAQ sections before you call.


You’ve dialled 999, what happens next?

  • You will speak to an operator who will ask you to confirm whether you need police, fire or ambulance.

  • If you ask for police your call will be connected to a call taker in our Contact and Control Room at police headquarters in Wymondham.

  • The call taker will need to take your name and address and details of what has happened. This will take time but it is important to get all the information from you.

  • Details of your call will then be passed to a radio controller who is in contact with police officers on duty on the ground.

Every day our contact and control room receives hundreds of calls, many of which do not concern the police. Below are the top non-police related calls we received last year and the agency that you need to contact.


Please do not call us for:

  • Noise nuisance
    Noise nuisances are generally dealt with by local authorities, please check this page to see who will be able to help. If you want to report noise nuisance to your local council you can do so here
  • Lost dogs
    You must report lost dogs, dog fouling, noisy dogs and stray dogs to your local council.
  • Abandoned vehicle
    Dumped cars and abandoned vehicles must be reported to your local council. If you believe the vehicle is stolen or causing a highway obstruction please call 101.
  • Fly tipping & littering
    Illegal dumping of waste should be reported to your local council. If the offence is being committed at the time of the call, contact the police.
  • Road problems (traffic lights not working, roadworks, debris in the road)
    Reporting faulty traffic lights depend on where you live and the type of road – you can find the appropriate authority here or report a road obstruction, such as debris here.
  • Do you believe you have been mis-sold?
    Please read Ask the Police's FAQ page to find out who to contact. For more information on reporting to Trading Standards click here.
  • Litter/dog fouling
    This will be dealt with by your local council.
  • Fraud
    Fraud should be reported to Action Fraud.
  • Untaxed vehicles
    Please note, tax discs are no longer needed – vehicle tax may still be up to date even if no tax disc is on show. The Department of Transport deals with untaxed vehicles and you can report one anonymously here.
  • General advice
    If you have a general question around police powers or policing responsibilities you can find answers very quickly through the national “ask the police” website. 
    The Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN) is a county based project aiming to provide access to free professional advice and information on topics such as:
    • consumer rights
    • equality issues
    • family matters
    • discrimination
    • social welfare
      NCAN also offers advocacy and representation services for those living and working in Norfolk.
  • General information on policing
    If you have a general question around police powers or policing responsibilities you can find answers very quickly through the national “ask the police” website. 
  • Specific Questions
    If you have a Norfolk specific policing question try accessing our online policy statements which are stored here.
  • Email
    If you still need to ask a question and the response is not time critical you can submit an email to: [email protected]. We aim to respond in 5 working days but our normal response is usually much quicker. 
  • Additional Contact Routes
    • We have mini-com number for the hard of hearing 01953 424 200
    • We also offer a text phone facility on 18001 101
    • We do have a fax facility on 01953 424 299
    • We have a text to email service for the public on 07786 200777

Police response policy

We take all calls seriously but have to make decisions about how we respond to them based on the information we are given and the resources we have available.

We will resolve your call by doing our best to provide:

  • advice, guidance or a telephone investigation into the circumstances
  • a diary appointment with an officer if the matter is routine
  • a routine police attendance if a diary appointment is not the right choice for the circumstance
  • assistance within the hour if the matter is deemed a priority
  • attendance within 15 minutes in urban areas and 20 minutes in rural areas if the circumstances are an emergency.

Your call will initially be graded as below and this grading may change as we receive more information.

Grade A – Emergency – Immediate response

From the time of receiving the call we will do our best to attend within 15 minutes in urban areas and 20 minutes in rural areas.

This might include:

  • If there is an immediate threat to life or serious injury to any person or there is the risk that this may happen.
  • If there is a serious risk of harm or loss of property.
  • A serious crime has just occurred or is imminently likely to occur.
  • A person, due to their vulnerability, is at risk of serious/life threatening harm.
  • A suspect is identified as being at scene or has just been disturbed and there is serious harm or risk in delaying the police response.
  • A policy decision mandates an immediate response.


Grade B – Priority response

Our target is to respond as soon as possible and within 60 minutes from receiving the call.

This might include:

  • If there is a threat or risk of harm to a person’s safety that requires either an urgent attendance or a priority appointment.
  • If there is a threat or risk of harm to a person’s property that requires either an urgent attendance or a priority appointment.
  • Whilst a person is currently deemed to be in a safe place, because of their vulnerability, an urgent attendance is required to help keep them safe.
  • Investigative evidence could be lost if police do not prioritise an urgent attendance.
  • A policy decision mandates the incident will be attended within a specific time period.


Grade C – Scheduled response

Depending on the circumstances of the incident, attendance is within usually within 24 hours, where an appointment is not suitable or available.


Diary Appointment – An agreed time and location.

This might include:

  • There are identified investigative opportunities that require police attendance and that will not be lost by planning a diary appointment.

  • There is evidence which is deemed to be safely stored but requires recovery or examination.

  • The caller or witness is not at immediate risk but a face to face interaction is required, e.g. statement taking. 



This might include:

  • The matter requires no further police involvement beyond noting and/or redirecting to another agency.  Advice and engagement with the caller should still take place.

  • The message contains operational information that may require action that falls short of deployment.

There is a statutory or other necessary reason to provide a record of the information given