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The Number Police Call From

There are a number of reasons why the police might try to contact you at some point in your life. Whether it’s to gather information on an ongoing investigation or respond to an inquiry you’ve made, you might be wondering how exactly do you know if it’s the police calling you.

Unfortunately, if the police are trying to contact you, there’s no sure-fire way to know it’s them until you pick up the phone. It’s a common policing standard to contact you via a withheld number. And for good reason too! 

After all, what good would come from numerous members of the public knowing an individual police officer’s phone number? 

Today, we explore reasons why a police officer might phone you along with common methods used. Let’s dive in.

Reasons why police might phone you

There are several reasons why the police might phone you, including to discuss ongoing criminal investigations, if they suspect your involvement in a recent incident, to advise you of an accident, or are simply responding to a query you’ve made as a witness or a victim. 

The most common instance a police officer would phone you is during an ongoing investigation. For example, if you are a key witness, the officer trying to call you may need to make further enquiries to thoroughly build their case. Alternatively, if there are suspicions surrounding your involvement in a situation, an officer is likely calling you to dive deeper into what happened and gain insights on your side of the story. You might not even know that you’ve been associated with a crime until this point!

If you are a victim of a crime, a police officer may call you to make further enquiries or organise a suitable time for you to come into the police station or visit you at your home. 

Furthermore, in the unfortunate event an accident takes place involving your family members, a police officer may attempt to contact you to let you know. This type of call can be truly terrifying; however, the officers will advise you on the next steps to take.

Another reason a police officer may call you is to advise you of lost/stolen property. For example, if you have left your wallet behind during your morning Starbucks trip and a stranger has been kind enough to hand it into the nearest police station. 

Do police call from mobiles?

The most common method for the police to contact you is via their work mobile. For the protection of their own privacy, each police officer is provided with their own phone strictly for work use only. 

Alternatively, if an officer is working straight from their office/police station, they may try to reach out to you via a landline. 

If a police officer is unable to get a hold of you, the next step would be to visit you at your home address. We understand that receiving a call from the police can be a daunting process, however, it’s always for good reason. We recommend that you answer the call to save an unwanted visit to your home! 

Police Call from private numbers

It is standard practice for a police officer to call you from a private or withheld number. Not only does this protect their privacy but it also deters unwanted calls from members of the public. 

For example, a police officer is unlikely to want a criminal or suspect to have access to their work phone number.

Additionally, police officers often take their work phone home with them. Could you imagine the calls they could potentially receive during all hours of the night? 

With the rise of scammers and unwanted cold calls, the number of people who ignore withheld numbers is only increasing. And as you can imagine, this can make a police officer’s duty a little more difficult. If an officer is struggling to get a hold of you, there may be instances where they will dial you using an ordinary number. This is especially true if they have reason to believe that you are deliberately avoiding their calls. 

Police and voicemails

It’s common practice for a police officer to leave you a voicemail message if you haven’t answered their call. Not only does this serve as proof of their attempts to reach you, but it also allows them to provide you with a brief explanation of why they’re calling you.

It’s important to note that police officers are not allowed to disclose personal information on a voicemail. Your privacy and confidentiality are their top priority and they don’t know who might access your phone and voicemails. 


To summarise, if you are receiving a call from a police officer, it is important to take it seriously and to work with them, not against them.

If an officer is trying to call you, it is most likely that you have been involved in a recent event either as a witness, a suspect, or a victim. Most commonly, they are trying to find out further information from you. Whether it is to help identify the criminal, clear up something on your statement, or provide information on what you witnessed, it’s always best to pick up the phone and help where you can.

Most of the calls you receive from a police department will be via a withheld/private number, but don’t be surprised if they call you from an ordinary phone number if they have reason to believe you are avoiding them!

On a final note, there are instances where you could receive a call from a scammer posing as an officer. In this case, it’s best to use your own judgement and ask for more information. If you believe you have been on the receiving end of a scam call, we would advise you to let your local police department know. 

Tom Brook

Tom Brook

I am a former Police Detective with years of knowledge and experience in investigating serious crimes across Scotland, working with communities and keeping the public safe. I aim to give back to the Policing community with this site!
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