Police response policy | Suffolk Constabulary

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Police response policy

We take all calls seriously, but have to make decisions about how we respond to them based on the information we are given and the resources we have available.

We will resolve your call by doing our best to provide:

  • advice, guidance or a telephone investigation into the circumstances
  • a diary appointment with an officer if the matter is routine
  • a routine police attendance if a diary appointment is not the right choice for the circumstance
  • assistance within the hour if the matter is deemed a priority
  • attendance within 15 minutes in urban areas and 20 minutes in rural areas if the circumstances are an emergency.

Your call will initially be graded as below and this grading may change as we receive more information.

    Grade C – Scheduled response

    Depending on the circumstances of the incident, attendance is within usually within 24 hours, where an appointment is not suitable or available.

    Diary appointment – an agreed time and location

    This might include:

    • there are identified investigative opportunities that require police attendance and that will not be lost by planning a diary appointment
    • there is evidence which is deemed to be safely stored but requires recovery or examination
    • the caller or witness is not at immediate risk but a face-to-face interaction is required, for example, statement taking. 

    Information/resolved

    This might include:

    • the matter requires no further police involvement beyond noting and/or redirecting to another agency. Advice and engagement with the caller should still take place
    • the message contains operational information that may require action that falls short of deployment
    • there is a statutory or other necessary reason to provide a record of the information given.

    Grade B – Priority response

    Our target is to respond as soon as possible.

    This might include:

    • if there is a threat or risk of harm to a person’s safety that requires either an urgent attendance or a priority appointment
    • if there is a threat or risk of harm to a person’s property that requires either an urgent attendance or a priority appointment
    • a person that is currently deemed to be in a safe place, but because of their vulnerability, an urgent attendance is required to help keep them safe
    • investigative evidence could be lost if police do not prioritise an urgent attendance
    • a policy decision mandates the incident will be attended within a specific time period.

    Grade A – Emergency – Immediate response

    From the time of receiving the call we will do our best to attend within 15 minutes in urban areas and 20 minutes in rural areas.

    This might include:

    • if there is an immediate threat to life or of serious injury to any person or there is the risk that this may happen
    • if there is a serious risk of harm or loss of property
    • a serious crime has just occurred or is imminently likely to occur
    • a person, due to their vulnerability, is at risk of serious/life threatening harm
    • a suspect is identified as being at the scene or has just been disturbed and there is serious harm or risk in delaying the police response
    • a policy decision mandates an immediate response.