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Winnipeg Police Service

Crime Prevention > Reporting Emergencies

 

Make the Right Call!

WHEN TO DIAL 9-1-1


All calls are important, but not every call is life threatening. Call 9-1-1 for emergency situations.

Emergencies are defined as:

  • Any crime in progress (break & enter, robbery, etc)
  • Any situation where people or property are at risk (fire, children on ice, etc)
  • Any medical emergency (heart attack, accidental poisoning, etc)

.When dialing 9-1-1:

  • Stay on the line, stay calm and explain the emergency, as well as the full address where the emergency is occurring. The address and telephone number from which you are calling is automatically displayed to the operator (unless you are calling from a cell phone).
  • Through appropriate questioning, the 9-1-1 operator will determine what you are reporting and then transfer you to the appropriate Emergency Service (Police, Fire or Paramedics).
  • Let the operator control the conversation and stay on the line until you are told to hang up.
  • On very rare occasions, you may get a recorded message when dialing the 9-1-1 emergency line. Do not hang up. Your call will be answered as soon as an operator is available.
  • If you are unsure if something that is happening is actually an emergency, dial 9-1-1 and report what is happening to the operator. If they decide it is not an emergency, they will simply ask you to hang up and call the non-emergency telephone number.

MISUSE AND ABUSE OF 9-1-1

People reporting incidents that are NOT real emergencies often tie up the 9-1-1 emergency line. This can prevent people with real emergencies from reaching the help they require. Here are some tips on how you can minimize your family's chances of inadvertently dialing 9-1-1, and how to handle it if you do:

  • If you accidentally dial 9-1-1, do not hang up. If you hang up, a ring-back will occur and this wastes valuable time. Stay on the line to advise the operator that you have dialed by accident, and answer any questions they may have.
  • Teach your children that the telephone is not a toy and the importance of keeping the 9-1-1 line available for real emergencies.
  • Do not pre-program 9-1-1 into your home, business or wireless phones memory.
  • Wireless phones on belts or in purses generate many false 9-1-1 calls every day without the owner's knowledge. If your cellular phone has a keypad lock option, this is an excellent way to ensure you won't accidentally dial 9-1-1 and other telephone numbers without your knowledge.
  • Do not allow children to have access to deactivated cell phones because although deactivated, these phones can still dial 9-1-1 and be used to generate false or prank calls.

REPORTING NON-EMERGENCIES

If you are reporting something to the Police that does NOT meet the definition of an emergency (listed above), then dial the Police Non-Emergency telephone number, 204-986-6222. This can include circumstances that you feel are suspicious or crimes that have occurred and the offender has left and is not returning. You may be directed to attend a police service centere.


REPORTING PROPERTY CRIMES

If you are reporting a property crime and it does NOT meet the definition of an emergency (listed above), then dial the Police Non-Emergency telephone number, 204-986-6222. This can include circumstances that you feel are suspicious or property crimes that have occurred and the offender has left.


REPORTING SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

If you see something that you feel is suspicious TakeAction and dial the Police Non-Emergency telephone number, 204-986-6222, to report the suspicious circumstances. Without endangering yourself, obtain as much of the following information as possible and pass it on to the police operator.

Suspect

Vehicle

  • Sex 
  • Race
  • Age
  • Height / Weight
  • Build
  • Complexion 
  • Colour of Hair / Eyes
  • Description of Clothing
  • Marks, Scars and Tattoos
  • License Plate Number & Province
  • Make
  • Model
  • The direction the vehicle was going when it was last seen
 


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Last update: July 2, 2013

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