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Contacting us

Answers to questions people often ask us about how to contact us

Emergency SMS service for the deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired

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The emergency SMS service allows deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK to send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service, where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire and rescue, or coastguard.

How it works

Simply by sending an SMS message to 999, you can call for help and the emergency services will be able to reply to you.

A relay assistant will speak your SMS message to the 999 advisor, their reply will be sent back to you as an SMS message.

If you send another SMS text message, the relay assistant will read it to the 999 advisor and send their reply back to you.

How to register

You MUST register your mobile phone before using the emergency SMS service.

Step 1:
Text 'register' to 999

Step 2:
You will receive a reply explaining the service. Please read through this.

Step 3:
Text back 'Yes'

Step 4:
You will receive a text confirming your registration for the service.

You can find out more information about Emergency SMS on the Emergency SMS website.

How to use Emergency SMS


Pegasus: How to contact us if you're disabled, impaired or vulnerable

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Pegasus makes the 999 system more accessible to people who are vulnerable or have disabilities and impairments.

What is Pegasus?

Pegasus is a secure PIN number database that immediately provides the emergency services (police, fire and ambulance) with key details about the caller when that person is calling them on the phone or requesting help in person in emergency or non-emergency situations.

This helps emergency service staff to help the caller in the most appropriate way to suit their needs, as the system includes details about their disability or impairment and their home address. 

The inital idea for the scheme came from Chris Channon MBE, a Nottingham man who had experienced difficulty when calling the police due to his speech impairment. 

The database is operated and maintained by Nottinghamshire Police and used by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service (Nottinghamshire).

It is free to join for anyone who lives in Nottinghamshire.

How does Pegasus work?

Using Pegasus over the phone in an emergency

  • In an emergency, dial 999 and ask for the police, fire or ambulance. Please note this system is only used in Nottinghamshire for calls about incidents or issues in Nottinghamshire only.
  • When your call is answered say 'Pegasus' to the customer service advisor, followed by your PIN.
  • The advisor will access the Pegasus database to find your details. They will ask you to confirm your name and address. This avoids you having to spend valuable time trying to tell us who you are and you can quickly get on with telling us why you are calling.
  • The information on the database will help the advisor to take account of any difficulties you have and ensure they can provide you with the help you need.
  • If police officers or other emergency service workers are sent to you, the advisor will also tell them about your disability or impairment.

Non-emergencies and general enquiries

You can use Pegasus for non-emergencies or general enquiries by calling the service you want to contact on the numbers provided below, following the same procedure as described above:

  • Nottinghamshire Police: 101
  • Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue: 0115 967 0880
  • East Midlands Ambulance Service: 0115 884 5000

Using Pegasus when you need help in person

If you are registered on the Pegasus database and meet a police officer, PCSO or other emergency service worker in person and you need their help, tell them or show them your Pegasus PIN.

They will then contact their control room who will give them the information recorded in the database.

Pegasus is available for use in this way by those who are unable to use a phone.

Pegasus will only help you if your details on our database are correct. Please tell us as soon as you can if your details change. Please complete the PDF/Word forms available at the bottom of this page to update your details.

How do I register for Pegasus?

Registering for the Pegasus scheme is easy to do and it's free. 

You can apply in writing to Nottinghamshire Police Headquarters, Contact Management, Pegasus, Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, Nottingham, NG5 8PP, email pegasus@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk or complete the PDF/Word forms available at the bottom of this page.

When you are registered with Pegasus, we will send you a letter with instructions on how to use the service and a Pegasus card that has on it your personal identification number (PIN).

You can also contact us at any time to change your details, for example, if you move house or you want to be removed from our database.

Anyone who has a disability, illness or vulnerability can register with Pegasus.

Can I access Pegasus from any phone?

Yes, you can use Pegasus from any phone within Nottinghamshire including mobiles.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, you can register to use Pegasus via text message to our mobile phone number 07910 336 850, which is monitored by our control room staff. 

Once you are registered, you can use the service on any mobile phone - just begin your text with 'PEGASUS' followed by your PIN and message. 

In emergency situations, we strongly advise using the emergency SMS service.

Is my information secure?

Yes, all your information is held in a secure environment, is only shared with other organisations with your explicit permission in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and will not be used for any other purpose.

Every year, we will contact you to check your details on our database are correct.


House rules for interacting with us online

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We use social and digital media to communicate with the public and enhance the way we have conversations with the people we serve. 

We use several platforms to achieve this, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Audioboo and CoverItLive. 

Content, such as appeals for information, images of suspects, missing person appeals, daily news items, images, video and audio, are posted on these sites. 

We do this for a variety of reasons - to seek your help in fighting crime, to raise awareness of issues that could affect you and to keep you informed of news from the force. 

Every day we are communicating with over 50,000 people using social and digital media and we encourage you to communicate with us using these channels. 

What we expect from you

  1. Never use social and digital media channels to report a crime or information about criminal activity to us. Please call us on 999 in an emergency or 101 when it’s less urgent to report a crime. You can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to report information about criminal activity.
  2. Do not post messages or content that could be deemed to be abusive, defamatory, hateful, racially offensive, sexually offensive, obscene, inflammatory or unlawful.
  3. We want everyone to feel comfortable using our sites to communicate with us so please do not swear in your posts or post anything distasteful.
  4. Do not use our sites for posting spam or adverts for products or services you or your business offers.
  5. Do not post your personal details, such as your address or phone number, when posting publicly on our sites. If you have contacted us and an officer or staff member wants to contact you in return offline, they will privately message you, if possible, asking for your contact details. Only provide these if you are comfortable doing so.
  6. Do not post any material that you do not own the copyright to.
  7. Do not pretend to be someone else.

We reserve the right to remove posts or block any users that breach these guidelines, without explanation. 

What you can expect from us 

How often will I see your updates? 

If you follow us on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook, you can expect to see several updates daily – more frequently on weekdays, but also at weekends. 

If there is a major incident that affects a lot of people in Nottinghamshire, or an emergency situation where getting accurate information and instructions to you quickly is essential, we will use Twitter as the main platform for distributing that information. Much of the information will contain links back to this website for a more detailed explanation. 

Will you reply to me? 

If you send a tweet to us or post on our Facebook page, you can expect a response, if required and appropriate, but we cannot reply to everyone who posts to us and it may not always be possible to reply immediately. 

When we are not going to be able to monitor our Twitter and Facebook accounts for a considerable amount of time (for example, over the weekend) we will endeavour to let you know, explaining when we will be back online. 

There are some topics or cases that we will not be able to discuss due to a number of reasons, including criminal proceedings being active or investigations being under way. If this is the case, we will tell you. 

Can I report crime online? 

You can now report non-emergency crimes or incidents online. However, in an emergency, please always call 999. 

Can I follow my local beat team? 

You can find a full list of all of Nottinghamshire Police's social media channels on our Social Media web page.

Why are you following me? 

If we follow you on Twitter, please don’t assume we are monitoring your online activities or you are in trouble. We follow people and organisations that we are interested in and relevant to policing, community safety, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire in general. 

Do you remove posts? 

Generally, we will not remove posts from members of the public that are made on our social and digital media channels, as we really want to hear your opinions on the issues that matter to you and have a conversation with you, while maintaining a family friendly format.

However, we will consider removing posts or blocking users or accounts that breach the guidelines outlined above, without any explanation.


Tell us what you think

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Whether you're a victim of crime, a witness, or you've contacted us to make a general enquiry we want you to be completely satisfied with the service you have received from us.

We hope you will appreciate and take into account that we often have to carry out our work under difficult conditions.

While your reason for being in contact with the police may not be a positive one, our aim is to ensure that our service to you is of the highest standard.

Our promise to you

  • We will act with honesty and integrity, fairness and impartiality towards every individual. We will treat you with dignity and respect.
  • We will not abuse our powers or authority.
  • We will act in a manner that does no discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service.


Contacting the police when it's not an emergency

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When to call the 101 non emergency number

101 is the number to call when you want to contact us when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.

101 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls to 101 cost 15 pence per call from landlines and mobiles, no matter what time of day you call or how long you're on the phone.

We always aim to answer your call as quickly as possible. We aim to answer all 101 calls within 60 seconds. At times, particularly during major incidents, we might receive more calls than normal and you might wait slightly longer.

You can call the 101 non-emergency number when you want to:

For example, you should call 101 if:

101 is the number to call when you want to contact us when it’s less urgent than a 999 call. 101 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls to 101 cost 15 pence per call from landlines and mobiles, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you're on the phone.

What happens when I call 101?

When you call 101 from within Nottinghamshire you'll hear either:

  • "Thank you for calling 101. Please select from the following two options. For Derbyshire Police press 1, for Nottinghamshire Police press 2. Or press hash for the operator"; or
  • "Thank you for calling 101. We're connecting you to Nottinghamshire Police. If you require an alternative police force please press 1."

If you need to contact another police force, the operator will be able to transfer your call to any police force in England and Wales.

Once connected to us, you're given five options or the option to be transferred to an operator. Please listen to the options presented to you to help save your time and ours.

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101 is the number to call when you need to contact Nottinghamshire Police and it’s less urgent than a 999 call. Calls cost 15p, no matter how long the call lasts.


Contacting the police in an emergency

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Use the 999 emergency number when

  • Life is in danger or someone is seriously injured
  • Someone is using violence or there is an immediate threat of violence
  • A crime is in progress or an offender has just been disturbed at the scene
  • Serious damage is being or could be caused to property
  • There is a road traffic collision in which someone is hurt or there is a danger to other road users
  • An immediate police response is necessary.

In all other circumstances, including to report a crime that has already happened, you should use our non-emergency number 101.

You should call 999 if you need our help immediately in a genuine emergency.

What happens when you dial 999?

You will speak to an operator who will ask you to confirm which emergency service you need - police, fire or ambulance. If you ask for police, your call will be connected to a customer service advisor in our control room at our headquarters in Arnold, Nottingham. The customer service advisor will ask for your name and address and details of what has happened.

This will take time but it's important to get as much information from you as possible so we can determine the type and level of police response required. Please be co-operative with the customer service advisor and provide as much detail as you can.

Speak as calmly and clearly as you can to avoid mistakes. If you have a disability or impairment you can become a member of the Pegasus scheme so the advisor will be able to access your personal details quickly just from your Pegasus PIN number. While you're speaking, the customer service advisor will input the details into a police system so that the relevant officers or specialist staff can be deployed to help you.

The advisor will be taking action during the conversation. In emergencies, the police may arrive while you are still on the phone to the control room. Your call will be graded according to urgency. The most urgent calls will receive an immediate response.

The advisor will explain to you what is happening and why. Don't put the phone down until the customer service advisor tells you to as they may need more information from you. Your call will be recorded for training, monitoring and evidential purposes.

How long will you take to get to me?

If your call is an emergency, we aim to be with you within 15 minutes if you live in an urban area and 20 minutes if you live in a rural area.

If it's less urgent, we aim to be with you within an hour.

If it's not necessary to send an officer to you straight away, we may arrange for a local beat officer to visit you or arrange for a scheduled appointment at a police station on a date and at a time to suit you.

Alternatively, you might not need a visit at all and you may be kept updated by phone, text or email.

If we're not the right service to deal with your call, our customer service advisors will give you contact details for another agency that can help, such as your local council, the RSPCA or Trading Standards.

Does it cost anything to call 999?

999 calls are free from any phone including home phones, pay phones, card phones and mobile phones. On mobile phones press 999 on the keypad and then the ‘call’ button – you can do this if the keypad is locked (this is a standard feature on all mobile phones) and even if there is no credit on the phone.

How to call 999 when it's not safe to speak

There may be circumstances where you need to request immediate help from police officers, but risk putting yourself or others in more danger by speaking.

There could be any number of reasons for this, for example alerting someone to your location or to the fact that you’re dialling 999.

When you call 999, the operator will ask which service you require. If you don’t respond, you are then connected to the silent solutions service hosted by the Metropolitan Police where you are prompted to tap the handset, cough or make a noise. You’ll then be given the option to press 55 to be put through to your local police force as an emergency caller.

If you don’t respond to any of these options, unfortunately we’ll have to terminate the call to allow us to deal with other incoming calls. This is because, sadly, we do receive hoax calls alongside misdials and the occasional call from an inquisitive toddler.

The process is designed to allow people to inform call handlers that their call is a genuine emergency, without having to put themselves in danger. This works with the current threat advice of RUN, HIDE, TELL where you are advised to put your phone on silent and may be unable to speak to the police.

We won’t automatically have exact details of your location once you’ve been put through to our Control Room but we’ll do our best to assess the situation and find out where you are. We might need to ask questions that require you to tap the screen to respond. Once we’ve got enough information, we can assess the call and respond accordingly.    


Scheduled appointments: See us about your incident when it suits you

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If you're a victim of crime and you don't need a police officer to see you straight away, you'll be invited to an appointment at a police station.

This system is called the Scheduled Appointments Service and works similar to how a doctors’ surgery operates – if you can attend a police station for an appointment you'll be expected to.

Home visits are available if you're vulnerable and can't get to a police station.

The service frees up our officers' time, enabling them to resolve more incidents more quickly than they could if they travelled to see everyone who is a victim of crime.

Your details will be taken at the time of your original call to the police. We will then call you back to arrange a time to suit you.

Appointments are available seven days a week.


Hoax calls: You could be putting someone at risk

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Every time someone makes a hoax or ‘joke’ 999 call, they put someone else’s life in danger.

If we are sent to a hoax call, it means we're not available when someone really needs our help. It could be a matter of life or death.

Hoax calls can be traced and callers run the risk of a heavy fine and even a prison sentence.


Crimestoppers: Report crime anonymously

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Crimestoppers is not the police - it's an independent charity helping to find criminals and solve crimes.

If you have information about a crime or a criminal, you can pass it on anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

You can also fill in an online form on the Crimestoppers website.

You won't be asked to give your name, your call won't be traced or recorded and you don't have to go to court. You could also be eligible for a reward.

The charity pays cash rewards of up to £1,000 if the information you give to Crimestoppers leads to one or more people being arrested and charged. All rewards are given anonymously.


Say thank you

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Say 'thank you' if you think we have fulfilled or exceeded our service promise to you.

You can say 'thank you' using our online form and indicating whether you would like your message to be posted online or not.

Please note that this email address should not be used to report an incident, crime or other emergency.

You can also see a selection of thank you messages are posted on our website.


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