The Western Australia Police is responsible for policing the largest single police jurisdiction in the world, an area covering 2.5 million square kilometers with a structure comprising three regions, 14 districts and 162 police stations.
WA Police Mission: To enhance the quality of life and well-being of all people in Western Australia by contributing to making our State a safe and secure place.
Reporting a crime:
There are a number of ways you can contact the police and report the crime if you become a victim, witness or believe that you have information regarding a crime.
1. Go to the nearest Police Station or telephone
Even if you can’t speak English you can report a case and just say ‘Interpreter’ and the name of the language you speak. The police will connect you to a telephone interpreter or arrange for an interpreter to assist. Sometimes the police may ask you to come back when the interpreter is available (this is practiced if the situation of the reported case is not urgent).
2. Call 131 444
Call 131 444 for police assistance or attendance and when it is NOT an emergency, for example:
- reporting a disturbance or breach of the peace (domestic violence incident or antisocial behaviour);
- asking a police-related question or advice;
- reporting something which has happened in the past;
- reporting a property-related incident for insurance purposes; or
- making a complaint against police or another individual.
Calls to 131 444 from most regional areas are automatically directed to the nearest police station.
3. Call 000 (24 hours)
ONLY in an emergency or life-threatening situation, when urgent police assistance is needed, for example:
- a serious crime is in progress, being witnessed or just committed;
- any situation where life or serious injury is threatened;
- a car accident where people are trapped or seriously injured;
- a serious air, rail or water incident;
- any incident which poses an immediate threat of danger to people or property; or
- an explosion or bomb incident or threat.
Under Commonwealth and State laws, it is an offence to misuse the 000 emergency services number. Action will be taken against those who misuse or make nuisance calls on the 000 line.
4. Call Crime Stoppers Phone: 1800 333 000
Crime Stoppers is a telephone hotline for reporting information about any criminal or suspicious activity.
Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 if you have information about any crime, or any suspicious activities, or if you think you have useful information that may help prevent a crime.
As a student you may also report a crime or contact the police (if not urgent) by going to www.police.wa.gov.au and follow the prompts. At this site you can report a car crash, ask a question, find forms, locate the nearest police station, receive safety tips and a multitude of other information.
If you have a speech or hearing disability the triple zero service (000) can be accessed via the National Relay Service, call TTY 106.
Your Rights and Responsibilities
Identifying a Police Officer:
- Most police officers wear a police uniform. However, some officers will wear plain clothes but will carry a police badge which includes their photo identification with the officer’s name on it while on duty. You may ask the officer for their identification if you are unsure.
- Police have the power and authority to arrest, detain, search and collect information, and charge a person if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a person is committing, has committed or will commit an offence.
- If you are questioned by police, remain calm, be polite and cooperative. Police officers can ask for your name and address if they believe you have committed a crime.
- In most instances you must give this information. It is against the law to provide false information. You should never intend to bribe by offering any money or valuables to a police officer. It is a serious offence to do so.
- In most circumstances you have the right to contact a legal representative and it is advisable that you seek legal advice. You also can ask for an interpreter when dealing with the police. Generally, the cost of the interpreter is covered by the police.
- You do not have to go to a police station with police officers unless you are arrested for an offence or are lawfully detained for purposes such as obtaining blood or breath specimens for a drink driving offence.
- They will tell you that you are under arrest
- Why you are being arrested
- Ask you to accompany them
- If you resist or struggle, you can be charged with resisting arrest
- They will advise you of your rights if you are arrested
- You will be allowed to telephone a legal advisor, friend or a relative.
When police make an arrest:
The WA Police strives to provide the highest level of police service to our community. Policing is a difficult and complex job in today’s society and we realize that mistakes can be made and that the actions of our personnel may fall short of your expectations.There are number of ways you can make a complaint against the police if you feel that you have been treated unfairly.
Authority of police
The nature of police officers’ work is such that they must have special authority that should not be abused. These include the right to:
- undertake their lawful duties without hindrance, resistance or abuse
- require any occupant of a motor vehicle to undergo preliminary breath testing where the driver is unknown
- search for and seize property under lawful authority
- arrest a person with or without a warrant
- lawfully use reasonable force to restrain, effect an arrest or execute a warrant
- lawfully require of a person his or her name and address and, where it is reasonably believed that an offence has been or is about to be committed, to stop, search and detain any person or vehicle.
In their dealings with the Western Australia Police, members of the community have a right to:
- be treated honestly and openly
- be treated fairly and with respect
- request that police officers identify themselves
- communicate or attempt to communicate with a friend, relative or legal practitioner if they are detained in custody
- be cautioned prior to being formally questioned as an offender
- be fully informed of all charges preferred
- only be detained for as long as is lawfully necessary
- have their safety and welfare needs met where detained, including the right to necessary medical attention
- have their concerns acknowledged and responded to in a professional manner.
The Western Australia Police relies upon the cooperation of all members of the community to make Western Australia a safe and secure place. To play their part, citizens have a moral obligation to:
- comply with the law
- assist and support their police and report information relating to any offence
- treat members of the Western Australia Police with respect and in a civil manner
- comply with any reasonable directions given by a police officer in the performance of his or her duty.