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. However, the Online Crime Reporting tool is available to select communities to report certain crimes that meet the criteria.
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: