When to call police
To report a crime in progress, or for immediate police assistance:
Call 9-1-1 or contact your local RCMP detachment or the police force in your area. Do not text message 9-1-1.
- The RCMP does not accept reports of crime via email or social media.
- If you live outside Canada, contact your local police service and ask them to make a request for assistance from the appropriate Canadian law enforcement agency.
What constitutes an emergency?
- When someone's life is in danger or there is an immediate threat
- When a crime is in progress
(e.g., a break and enter, assault, robbery, spousal dispute, etc)
- When a serious crime has just occurred and the suspect may not be far or may return
- When there is a good chance of arresting a suspect or preventing the development of a serious crime
When making a 9-1-1 call
- Remain calm and stay on the phone until you are told to hang up
- Briefly state the reason for the call ( e.g., "I want to report a break and enter in progress")
- Let the operator control the conversation. The questions are important to assist the officers who are attending.
Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- location of the emergency - include street name and building number. If you live in a gated complex, give your intercom code
- personal information - name, date of birth, address and phone number. Date of birth helps police to differentiate between people with the same name and assists in combating identity theft
- If you dial 9-1-1 accidentally, stay on the line and advise the call-taker. If that call-taker cannot reach you or a busy signal is heard, police will be sent
- When a crime that has already been committed and no suspects are present (e.g., theft from vehicle or home, vandalism, fraud)
- suspicious activity or circumstance or less serious nuisance behavior
- When you want follow-up information on a report you have previously made (Have your police file number available)
- a non-emergency, contact your local RCMP detachment or the police force in your area.
- call 1-800-222-TIPS(8477) or submit a tip online
a fraud/scam visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
- online sexual exploitation of children:
- call the Integrated Child Exploitation Team (ICE): (604)598-4569, or
- visit Cybertip.ca
- terrorism, criminal extremism or suspicious activities which could pose a threat to national safety and security: 1–800–420–5805 or email: RCMP.NSIN-RISN.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
- a death - read the circumstances when natural deaths must be reported to the police
Sample Incident Checklist
Sample Incident Checklist When Calling the Police
- Suspect Vehicle
- License #
- Vehicle Model:
- Direction of Travel:
- Suspect Description
- Eye Colour:
- Eye Shape:
- Hair Colour:
- Hair Length:
- Hair Style: Build:
- Jewelry/Body Piercing:
- Suspect Clothing
- Shoe Style/Colour:
- Jacket /Shirt Style/Colour:
- Pants/Shorts Colour:
- Type of Weapon
- Date modified: