Calling The Police

Lincolnshire Police receive approximately 525,000 calls each year, and around 85,000 of these are emergency 999 calls.

All calls to Lincolnshire Police are answered by the Force Communication and Control Centre (FCCC)  at Police Headquarters, Nettleham, Lincoln.

Emergency Calls

If you are ringing to report an emergency, dial 999. The 999 number is a 24 hour service and should only be used in situations where there is:

  • danger to life
  • use, or immediate threat of use, of violence 
  • a crime in progress 
  • serious injury to a person  
  • an offender that has just been disturbed at the scene  
  • a need for immediate police attendance such as when a crime is about to be committed

What Happens When You Ring 999?

When you ring 999, the BT Operator will ask you which emergency service you require and the number you are calling from. If you request Police in the Lincolnshire area you will be transferred to the FCCC in Nettleham. When the Operator transfers your call to Lincolnshire Police they will inform the Call taker of the telephone number you are calling from. The Call taker will ask you the location of the emergency and what the emergency is. They will then take your details. This process will take time but it is very important to get the correct information from you to make sure we resource your call appropriately whilst protecting the safety of the public and our Officers. The Call taker will ‘control’ the call so that the appropriate information is gleaned as quickly as possible.

It is important to only dial 999 in an emergency. Call takers will advise you to contact us on the non emergency number if your call isn’t an emergency to enable us to deal with genuine emergencies efficiently.

Non-Emergency Calls

The Lincolnshire Police non emergency number is 101. This is also a 24 hour service.

If you ring Lincolnshire Police between 0800-2200, your call is answered by a Switchboard Operator, outside of these hours your call will be answered by a Call taker.

Switchboard will:

  • Transfer you to the department or extension number you require.
  • Transfer you to a Call taker who may create an incident
  • Take your details and brief circumstances about your incident and arrange for you to be called back by a Call taker, CJIU or IRT
  • Ascertain if the incident you’re reporting is a neighbourhood policing team priority for where you live.

Call takers will:

  • Create an incident if appropriate and assess the circumstances of your call.
  • Assess the nature of the call and grade the incident.
  • Give you the incident number and the grade it has been assigned
  • Transfer the incident to the Controllers to resource.

Controllers will:

  • Resource incidents with the appropriate resources which could be Special Constables, PCSO’s, Police Officers, and specialist roles such as Dog Handlers, Firearms Officers and scenes of crime officers
  • Carry out necessary intelligence checks on Police databases
  • At times they may ring you back to gain further information prior to Officers arriving

Where appropriate, we try to deal with some calls over the phone. The Incident Resolution team (IRT) and the Criminal Justice Information Unit (CJIU) may record a crime report over the phone with you depending on the nature of what you are reporting. We utilise this method of crime recording to ensure that Officers are given more opportunity to investigate the circumstances of crimes you report.

Details you’ll be asked for when you report an incident

If you ring Lincolnshire Police to report an incident you will be asked a series of questions:

  • Your name
  • The number you are calling from
  • The location of the incident
  • Your address and contact number
  • Your date of birth
  • What has happened, who was involved, when did it happen, where did it happen, how has it happened?

Take your time to answer the questions correctly and as clearly as possible. The Call takers need to get as much information from you so the Controllers can inform the Officers of the circumstances prior to them attending and any risk assessments can be carried out to ensure the safety of the Public and Officers.

How We Grade Incidents

Incidents are graded into the following categories:


  • Risk to life or injury
  • Possible non-compliant prisoners to be apprehended
  • Important evidence may be lost

If an incident is graded as ‘urgent’, a resource will be deployed to attend. We aim to attend ‘urgent’ incidents in urban areas within 15 minutes and within 20 minutes in rural areas.


  • No risk to life or injury
  • Compliant prisoners
  • Vulnerable persons involved
  • Distressed persons
  • Where prompt attendance is appropriate to the circumstances.

We will attend ‘priority’ incidents as soon as a resource is free, but this may not be for a few hours.  However, each priority is assessed on its own merits, using our professional judgment, and some will take precedence over others.

If the circumstances change prior to police attendance, for example a detained person becomes non compliant, please ring back quoting the incident number.


  • Any other call where Police attendance is appropriate

If an incident is graded as ‘routine’ we will try to give you an estimated time of arrival and will advise you that we will attend within 48 hours. If we are unable to attend at a specified time, we will contact you and update you.

Hoax Calls

Lincolnshire Police do unfortunately receive hoax calls. It is illegal to make a hoax call and by doing this you are putting people’s lives at risk by preventing us from answering genuine emergency calls. If Lincolnshire Police receive hoax calls from a mobile we may disable your SIM card and you could be subject to criminal proceedings.

Updated: 16th January 2015 at 14:47