When to Call Police

If a crime is being or has been committed and the suspect is present, call 9-1-1.
If no suspect is present and a crime has been committed, call the non-emergency number 604-278-1212.

What exactly is "Suspicious Activity?"

Suspicious activity can refer to an incident, event, individual, vehicle, or circumstance that seems unusual or out of place. Some examples are:

  • A stranger walks down a dark street trying car doors, they maybe searching for a car to steal.
  • Someone is wandering through yards in your neighbourhood, they maybe looking for a house to break into.
  • A car slowly drives the streets of your neighbourhood, they maybe searching for a house to break into.
  • Someone is going door to door who doesn't have proper identification, they maybe looking for a house to break into.

Many people hesitate to call the police out of fear of getting involved or sounding overly suspicious, or they may fear being identified. But the police need and want your help in preventing crime. Only you know who or what doesn't belong in your neighbourhood!

Do not assume someone else has already called the police.

If you have been the victim of a crime...

Don't hesitate to call the police because you think the incident is too insignificant or because your own carelessness may have contributed to your victimization. Calling the police is an important part of protecting yourself and of being a good neighbour. Informing the police about crimes that have occurred is one way of preventing future crimes.

If you witness a crime or strongly suspect a crime is about to occur...

Without putting yourself in danger, carefully note any details which might be helpful to police. Including:

  • type of crime: automobile theft, assault, etc.
  • location of the crime: the street address or nearest cross street
  • description of the suspect(s): note height, build; colour of skin, eyes, and hair; clothing
  • unusual features, scars or tattoos
  • any visible weapons
  • description of any vehicles being used

Don't try to deal with the situation yourself. Call the police - the sooner the better. But even if some time has passed since you witnessed a suspicious incident, it's not too late to call the police.

If you suspect child neglect or abuse...

If you suspect that a child is being neglected, or physically or sexually abused, and you may not have proof, you have the obligation to report your concerns to the appropriate authorities. Call the Helpline for Children. Dial 0 and ask for Zenith 1234. Or call the police.

What happens to me when I call the police?

When you call, the police operator will take as much information as is required to be able to send the police to deal with the situation. But more information may be needed later, or facts may need to be checked out, so always leave your name and telephone number with the police operator.

Write it down

Whether you are reporting an emergency or a suspected criminal activity you have observed over a period of time, write down the details such as the time of occurrence, licence numbers, and descriptions of people.

If you are the victim of a crime or witness a crime, use this Incident Checklist to record the details. Incident Checklist

Keep a list of important telephone numbers accessible to everyone, including small children. Teach your children who to call in the event of an emergency.

Additional Resources

When and How to Call the Police