Contact :: To Call or Not to Call
To Call or Not to Call
There's no question - you should call!
You're not alone if you feel reluctant about calling the police.
Most people would prefer not to get involved, even when the incident might be causing damage to property belonging to their neighbours, friends, even their family.
It's a lot easier to just turn away and pretend you didn't see or hear anything.
After all, what did you really see? It was dark and all you got was a quick glimpse of someone running or a vehicle passing by. You can't even be sure the person or vehicle was actually involved in anything that needs to be reported to the police.
Next day, you feel a little - or a lot - guilty when you learn that someone close by has been robbed. They've lost some valuable items, maybe some serious damage was done to their home and property.
Police officers wish we'd all get over this fear of calling them to report suspicious behaviour. That's one reason the Ontario Provincial Police have their non-emergency number:
Calls to 310-1122 won't trigger an emergency response. The number is set aside for the public - you! - to report non-emergencies.
How do you know what is or isn't an emergency? The question to ask yourself is, "has someone been injured or is there imminent danger to life or property?" If the answer is yes you should not hesitate to call the 9-1-1 emergency line. Your action could prevent the crime or at least limit the damage. It might even save a life.
However, if the threat is no longer present and the perpetrators seem to have left the scene, the emergency is over and you can use the 1-888-310-1122 number to report the matter. You can also use this number to inform police about suspicious behaviour. No one will be upset if your suspicions are wrong.
You never know. The little piece of information you report, even after the fact, might be just enough to give the police an idea about who could be committing break-ins, thefts, vandalism or rowdyism.