You can now contact the British Transport Police by text message

Post date: 
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
 Woman using smartphone camera to look at label on food product in a supermarket

If you're a blind or partially sighted person, you've probably been in a situation where you've noticed an issue on public transport, or on the streets, that you felt you should let the Police know about; but either don't want to bother them with something that isn't an emergency or don't feel comfortable on the phone to the Police when you're in a vulnerable position.

But did you know you can now report things with a simple text to 61016?

It's important to remember that you should only text 61016 to report non-emergency incidents, similar to the ones you would report to the 101 phone number provided by your local Police force. The examples they give are:

  • Rowdiness on trains, and you need help 
  • Reporting vandalism or defacement of property 
  • Public drunk and disorderliness without a specific crime having been committed 
  • If you've been a victim of discrimination

The text number will be monitored 24/7 and Police officers from your local area will be sent out as required. The Police have issued the following guidelines to help you identify whether an incident is an emergency or non-emergency:

When to text 61016

Text 61016 (or call 0800 40 50 40) when you want to contact the Police about an issue that doesn't require an emergency response. For example, you can text when:

  • You want to report an incident that has already happened
  • You want to report issues affecting your rail journey or your local station
  • You have a general Police enquiry

If your enquiry concerns buses or roads, you can contact local police anywhere in the country by dialling 101.

When to call 999

Always dial 999 when you need an urgent police response such as when:

  • A crime is happening
  • Someone suspected of a crime is nearby
  • Someone is injured, being threatened or in danger

Your mobile service provider may issue a small charge to text 61016. The exact cost will depend on your network and tariff.

Find out more about the British Transport Police.