911, (UK=999) or 311 (UK=101) – which one should you call?
911 (or 999 for UK) is a number that everyone knows, children from a young age are taught to call 911 if there is an emergency, but do you know when you should call 311 instead? Did you know you can report a crime using our website?
Every year there are many… MANY 911 calls, but too many of them are not emergency calls. In fact last year 20% to 25% of all calls were classified as ‘inappropriate use of 911’. They get calls asking for taxi numbers, opening hours of the local convenience store and over Christmas there supposedly was a call from someone reporting a queue jumper in the Santa Grotto.
911? or not
Often when people panic they remember the 911 number and call it. They are there 24/7 365 days a year to help you, but if it’s identified as being a non-emergency then you may have to wait for another operator. We need to free up the 911 lines as there could be a life or death emergency waiting to get through.
Advice for calling 911:
- call when it’s an emergency
- a crime is in progress
- someone suspected of a crime is nearby
- when there is danger to life
- when violence is being used or threatened
If you don’t need an emergency response, then you should call 311 (or 101 UK) or use our online reporting form on police website. This could be to report a crime or to seek advice, for example your car has been stolen, your property has been damaged or you suspect drug use or dealing in your neighborhood.