Most Australians know that in emergencies, they need to call Triple-Zero (000) for assistance from either the police, ambulance services or the fire departments. Unfortunately, this number has been repeatedly misused by members of the public who call 000 for a wide range of non-emergency reasons ranging from the semi-serious (to report a theft that has already taken place) to the inane (to ask the 000 operator what the time is).
In response, a new phone number has been introduced for situations where a person needs police assistance but the situation is not an emergency. This number is 131 444 and this service has been called Policelink. Although callers in Queensland will reach the Queensland Police Service when they call this number, it is in fact a national number which can be called from anywhere within Australia, just like 000. Therefore if for example you needed to speak with the police and you were in New South Wales, a call to 131 444 would connect you with the NSW Police.
Situations which may require a call to 131 444 include non-urgent incidents of:
- Wilful property damage;
- Stealing offences;
- Break and enters;
- Stolen or unlawful use of motor vehicles; and
- Lost property.
If you witness one of the above incidents actually taking place, it is still recommended that you call 000.