When you need the police, do you know the different ways to contact them?
· Call 999 in an emergency when a life is threatened and there is imminent danger (a crime is happening)
· Call 101 when you don’t require an urgent response.
· Report online for reporting any number of things, including crimes. It is quick and convenient for you and available 24/7.
· Contact your local prevention team by email or phone for matters in your community.
· Visit your local police station.
· Text 65999 or TypeTalk on 18000 if you are hard of hearing or speech-impaired.
To help you, Sussex Police has produced a contact card bespoke to each district with all the different ways you can get in touch.
The Arun district contact card is one example. For your local card please search for your district online.
Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor said: “We want to make it clearer for you to get in touch with us in the most appropriate way.
“By creating postcards to pin up at home, contact cards to download and some animated scenarios on social media you should know where to go and when.
“And by helping you better target the way you contact us, you should get the right help from the right people in a timely way.
“If you know who to call or contact, this will save you time by ensuring you speak to the correct person or organisation in the first instance.”
In an emergency situation always dial 999 if there is a risk to life, if a crime is in progress, when violence is being used or threatened at that time or someone suspected of a crime is nearby.”
The Sussex Police Contact Centre deals with more than 600 emergency calls a day and while most members of the public know when to dial 999, it is important to reiterate this so police can respond to those members of the public who need them most, said a spokesman.
If an emergency response is not required, but the police are still the right service to call then there are other options.
Sussex Police receives more than 1,250 calls to 101 each day, added the spokesman.
Some of these, such as parking, are not police matters and callers are redirected to the relevant organisation.
People can use the 101 number for non-emergency issues; for example to report suspicious behaviour or to report a theft.
If there is not a need to speak to someone, people can report online for a number of things, including crimes and if a response is required, this will be actioned within 24 hours.
People can also contact local prevention teams by email or phone to report non-emergency police matters or concerns in your community – just search for your district on our website.
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Policing, like other public services, is facing enormous changes in the way it does business – balancing efficiencies and effectiveness whilst striving to provide a service that reflects public expectations.
“Recently a panel of residents took part in a Sussex Police survey where they were asked how best the service could engage with the public in the future.
“The responses showed that while traditional contact methods such as telephoning the police continue to carry importance, online, social media and email were also nominated as preferred communications channels.
“We expect our police service to be modern and flexible so it is absolutely right that there should be a range of ways we can contact the police if and when we need to.
“I am pleased to see Sussex Police spending time helping the public understand when and where to go for help.”
In addition to the revised contact card, Sussex Police also offers better accessibility for visitors to the Sussex Police website.
They will now be able to use a built in accessibility toolbar, making content more inclusive and accessible for users.
“Research proves that between 23 to 27 per cent of the UK population cannot access the Sussex Police website effectively,” said a spokesman.
“This could be for a whole range of reasons including visual impairment, English not being their first language and dyslexia.
“The new toolbar, which is available across all digital platforms be it mobile or desktop, offers visitors the ability to translate pages into more than 100 languages with the option of text to speech translation; adjust colour schemes and text sizes; and offers a text only view with reading ruler.
“It is hoped that the increase in accessibility here will lead to greater engagement from all who visit the website and increase time spent on the site; ensuring you get the right information you need.”
The introduction of the toolbar aligns with Sussex Police’s ongoing commitment to promote general accessibility.
ACC Taylor added: “There are many ways you can access the police and by letting you know the different ways to use our services we can be confident that we are effectively tackling local concerns and being there when we are needed the most.”
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