When to Call the Police

Contacting the police 

In an emergency dial 999. This should be used if: 

  • There is a danger to life or 
  • Risk of serious injury or 
  • A serious crime is in progress or about to happen. 

Any member of staff witnessing such an incident should dial 999 as they will be able to give the most accurate account of the incident. 

Making a decision to involve the police 

When an incident occurs in which a crime has or may have been committed, the Security Operative(s) needs to consider whether to involve the police. Many incidents can be dealt with and resolved internally. Leisuresec/The Client policy will give guidance on how to deal with and record such incidents. 

This guidance outlines the factors which Security Operative(s) should consider when deciding to involve the police. 

All concerns, discussions and decisions made, and the reasons for those decisions, should be recorded in writing. If in doubt about recording requirements, Security Operative(s) can discuss with the Leisuresec Control Room, a member of management or refer to the Security Assignment Manual on site. 


Things to consider 

In making a decision to involve the police it is important that the Security Operative(s) ensure a balance is struck between the needs of any victim involved and the Client. 

It is not always clear initially who is involved in an incident and in what capacity. The victim in any incident should be supported and protected as a priority. Those suspected of being the offender will also need to be supported. There will often be significant circumstances in a person’s life that are contributing factors to an incident and it is important that they are taken into consideration. 

The seriousness of the incident will be a judgement call. In making this decision the level of harm and the circumstances leading to the incident would need to be carefully considered. 

Any aggravating factors which contribute to making the incident and subsequent level of harm more serious would be relevant in making a decision on whether or not to involve the police. 

Ideally the decision as to whether to deal with an incident internally or pass it over to the police needs to be made at the initial stage, by gathering only enough information to establish the facts of the case.

The Security Operative(s) should be aware that they may not be aware of all circumstances leading to or connected to the incident. Contacting the police or other agencies may allow a further picture to be obtained, which assists in making informed decisions. 

When the decision is made that the Security Operative(s) will deal with the incident internally, it remains the responsibility of the Security Operative(s) to investigate and resolve it in accordance with their behaviour policy. Cooperation with parties involved, Leisuresec Management/ designated safeguarding lead and the Client should be maintained throughout and the incident and actions recorded. 

Leisuresec’s designated safeguarding lead should be leading response and should be aware of the incident process and making referrals to the police. Depending on the incident, parties involved may decide to make a referral to the police at a later time.

Leisuresec aim to have close relationships with the local police force. The designated safeguarding lead will liaise closely with the local police when an incident in which a crime may have been committed occurs. 

Crimes reported to the police 

In any incident where a crime may have occurred Security Operative(s) should consider: 

  • The seriousness of the incident. Whether an incident is ‘serious’ will be a matter of judgement and will depend on the type of incident. 
  • Whether there are any aggravating factors. These factors increase the level of risk, or highlight the need for a wider investigation and the need for the involvement of a range of agencies as well as the police
  • Whether this could be part of a pattern of behaviour also occurring in the community, in which case the police will want to be involved. 

The context of the offence is really important and the Security Operative(s) are in the best position to gather together all the relevant information prior to making a decision whether or not to report to the police. The decision and the rationale behind it should both be recorded. 

What are hate or prejudice based incidents? 

Hate incidents and hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone perceives them to be. The police and Crown Prosecution Service have agreed a common definition of hate incidents. 

An incident is considered a hate incident when the victim or anyone else believes that the incident was motivated by hostility or prejudice based on one of the following things: 

  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Transgender Identity 
  • Sexual Orientation

If you believe something is a hate or prejudiced based incident it should be recorded as such by the person you are reporting it to. All police forces record hate incidents based on these five personal characteristics. 


When is a hate or prejudice incident also a hate crime? 

When hate incidents become criminal offences they are known as hate crimes. Any criminal offence is a hate crime if it is motivated by hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, transgender identity or sexual orientation. 

Before Calling the Police

When the decision is made to report an incident to the police for investigation, due to the seriousness of the incident or for other aggravating circumstances, the Security Operative(s) should cease their own investigation, having asked only enough questions to establish the basic facts of the incident. Every effort should be made by the Security Operative(s) to preserve any relevant evidence. 

Initial enquiries undertaken by the should be fully documented as they may be required if the matter goes to court. This includes recording questions asked and their replies. 

Where a crime is reported to the police, it will be recorded as a crime and an investigation will commence.

Click the different crimes below for guide outlines questions the Security Operative(s) should ask for different types of incidents and possible aggravating offence factors to be considered. The context of the offence should always be taken into consideration taken into account.


Criminal damage including arson