How to Report a Crime Over the Telephone

You can call the police at any time for assistance or to report a crime. This section provides some examples of situations in which you should call the police. If you are uncertain about whether what you experienced, witnessed or know about is a crime, call the police to get more information or contact VictimLinkBC to speak with someone in confidence.

Emergency - Dial 911 for Immediate Assistance

If you are in urgent need of help, dial 911 immediately. If your community does not have 911 services, the emergency number for your local police can be found on the inside front cover of your phone book under ‘Emergency Numbers’.

You should call 911 in situations where:

  • A person’s life is in danger
  • A person or their property is being threatened
  • A crime is taking place (for example, break and enter, assault, robbery, domestic dispute)
  • A crime has just taken place
  • The suspect is still close by or may return to the scene of the crime and there is a good chance of arresting them
  • You notice something suspicious and calling 911 may help prevent a serious crime or threat to public safety

For useful information, visit Tips for Calling Emergency Services on the RCMP in BC website.

Non-Emergency - Call Your Local Police

If you need police assistance or would like to report a crime, but it is not an emergency, call your local police non-emergency number. This number is listed on the inside front cover of your telephone book.

Your situation is important to police and you can call for assistance any time, 24 hours a day. The following are examples of situations when you should call a police non-emergency number.

  • You are a victim or witness to a non-violent crime that has already taken place, such as vehicle theft or home break-in, damage to property (vandalism) or getting money in an illegal way (fraud) and the person who committed the crime is no longer in the area.
  • You have reason to believe a child is being abused, neglected or needs protection. If the child is in immediate danger of being hurt, call 911 or the Helpline for Children.
  • You witness nuisance behaviour that is not serious (for example, loud music).
  • You observed suspicious activity (any activity where you think someone may be committing a crime) in the past that might still be going on.

More Information

For more information about help and support available to you and to find other important phone numbers, please visit: Important Phone Numbers.