When you find yourself in need of contacting the police, do you know the best way to get in touch?

999 should only be used in emergency situations; when a life is in danger or a crime is happening right now.

To speak to the police about anything else, you should call 101 or contact us online.

Prefer to get in touch online? Go straight to the page you need:

Around 7,000 hours of our call handlers’ time each year is spent dealing with issues that aren’t police matters.

Our most common misdirected calls can be found below along with who should be contacted:

Abandoned Vehicles

An abandoned vehicle is one that has not been moved or attended to in a long time. These can cause a nuisance or an eye sore to those living near it.

Unless the vehicle appears to have been stolen or used in a crime, you should report them to your local council.

Nuisance Noise

Nuisance noise is any loud or persistent noise that causes you ongoing concern or affects your quality of life. Your local council should be your first contact for reporting nuisance noise as this is usually dealt with by their Environmental Health team.

However, if the situation feels like it may get heated or violent as a result of the noise we will intervene.

Fly Tipping

Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of large items of waste. It is a civil offence to fly tip and so reports should be made to your local council. Reports of fly tipping in progress, with the offenders on scene should be reported to the police on 101.

Broken Down Vehicles

Unless a vehicle has broken down in a dangerous position, for example in the middle of a lane on a busy road, you should contact a breakdown or recovery service.

Civil Advice

We can only answer questions and offer advice on issues that relate to criminal offences. Citizens Advice is dedicated to offering free advice and guidance on a range of issues such as obtaining civil orders, advice on housing and how to proceed with any civil disputes over payment, for example a poor quality refurbishment in your home.

Still not sure who to speak to? The independent website Ask the Police, is full of information about what to do and who to contact about a wide range of issues.