A to Z

Wiltshire Police, councils and other partner agencies work together to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour in your community.

Below are some of the day-to-day issues we deal with or take calls about, along with details, where appropriate, of who best to contact if not Wiltshire Police.

Where life is in danger or a crime is in progress call 999. Otherwise call the non-emergency number 101. Calls to 101 cost 15 pence from a landline or a mobile regardless of the duration of the call.

If you are deaf or speech impaired, then you can text-phone 18001 101.

Questions and answers about different subjects can also be found at Ask the Police.


Crime and anti-social behaviour by subject

Select a letter to go to the subject or scroll down:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


A

Abandoned vehicles

Abandoned vehicles should be reported to your local council who will arrange for them to be removed. For more information see:
  Swindon Council
  Wiltshire Council
For more information about how to report untaxed vehicles visit the  Gov.uk ov.uk website.

Abuse and Assault

If you have been assaulted or are being abused, report it. This could include rape, domestic abuse or abuse of a vulnerable adult or child. If life is in danger or a crime is in progress, call 999.

To report incidents or ask for advice, call 101.

See also Domestic AbuseHate CrimeRape.

Alarms

Alarms on buildings and cars are often activated. In the first instance people are encouraged to look around and check whether there is anything that needs to be reported to the police other than just the alarm sounding. Wiltshire Police will not attend a scene simply because an alarm is sounding, unless a crime is in progress or life is in danger. If an alarm is linked to a fire in progress, call 999. If the alarm is repeatedly and persistently sounding

See Noise nuisance.

Alcohol – see Drinking alcohol in public places

Anti-social behaviour

Wiltshire Police often work together with partner agencies to deal with incidents of anti-social behaviour. To report an issue, contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or your local neighbourhood policing team. 
If rowdy behaviour is violent or likely to cause danger to other people call Wiltshire Police on 999.
Your local council also have teams that can tackle anti-social behaviour. 
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council
See also Noise nuisance

You can find information and guidance on noise nuisance on the  Gov.uk website.

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B

Bicycle theft

Avoid the risk of your bike being stolen by getting a good lock and always lock your bike to something secure.
If your bike is stolen, report it by calling 101 or by reporting it online

 Read our advice on protecting your bicycle 

Boarding up or securing property

Where a property is waiting to be boarded up or secured after a crime, Wiltshire Police will only stay in attendance if there is a substantial risk of further crime taking place. The property owner, tenant, landlord or a responsible adult or neighbour can help maintain the security of premises in the meantime.

Bogus callers

A bogus caller or 'distraction burglar' is someone who turns up at your home unannounced, tricks their way into your home in order to steal your valuables or cash.

Bogus callers can be very persuasive and some people feel embarrassed when they become a victim of such a crime – do not let this stop you from reporting this type of crime.

We understand how easy it is to be conned and need your help to stop these criminals – don’t let them get away with.

If a crime is in progress or the bogus caller is nearby, dial 999. To report an incident which happened more than 30 minutes ago, please call Wiltshire Police on 101.

  Read our advice on ways to protect yourself against bogus callers 
 

Burglary

If you witness a burglary in progress, call 999. If you discover you have been burgled, please call 101 to report it. 

  Read our advice on reducing your risk of being burgled

Bilking at fuel stations

See Fuel – taking without payment.

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C

Car theft

As car security has improved greatly over recent years, we find that thieves normally need the car keys to steal motor vehicles. Don’t make it easy for them...

Reduce the risk of having your car stolen by making sure you don't leave car keys on display at home, taking valuables from the car when you leave it and always closing the windows fully.

If your car is stolen, report it by calling 101. If the theft is in progress, call 999.

 Read more advice on protecting your vehicle 


Civil disputes

Civil disputes, for example, unpaid debts, child custody matters or land ownership disputes, are generally not a matter for Wiltshire Police unless a crime is involved, or life is in danger.

Criminal damage

If criminal damage has already occurred you can call Wiltshire Police on 101 or report it online. Alternatively you can make contact with your local neighbourhood policing team to raise an issue.

If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, call 999.

See also Graffiti.


Custody disputes

Disputes involving child custody are again not generally a matter for Wiltshire Police unless a crime is involved, life is in danger, or a child is or will be at risk of significant harm.

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D

Dangerous dogs

To report a suspected dangerous dog, call Wiltshire Police on 101. If there is an immediate risk of harm or life is in danger, call 999.

Dashcam camera footage

Wiltshire Police will accept dash cam footage of incidents where it is believed a motoring offence has taken place. Footage must be downloaded to a disc and sent to the Criminal Justice Unit (Traffic) at Gablecross Police Station, Shrivenham Road, South Marston, Swindon, SN3 4RB.

Footage must be received within seven days of the incident taking place.

Distraction burglary

A distraction burglar or bogus caller is someone who turns up at your home unannounced, tricks their way into your home and steals your valuables or cash.

Bogus callers can be very persuasive and some people feel embarrassed when they become a victim of such a crime – do not let this stop you from reporting this type of crime.

We understand how easy it is to be conned and need your help to stop these criminals – don’t let them get away with.

If a crime is in progress or the bogus caller is nearby, dial 999. To report a recent incident, please call Wiltshire Police on 101.

  Read our advice on ways to protect yourself against distraction burglary
 

Dogs – lost or stray

If you wish to report a lost or stray dog, contact your local council.
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council

Dog fouling

Contact your local council to report dog fouling. They will arrange for dog mess to be cleared away and will work with agencies to advise dog walkers of the consequences of not clearing up after their pet. Council enforcement officers can issue on-the-spot fines to anyone caught not picking up after their dog. 
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council

Domestic abuse

If you are suffering physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse or are being intimidated or threatened by a current or previous partner or adult family member, you are a victim of domestic abuse. Remember, you are not to blame and help is available.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999. To report a domestic abuse related crime, call Wiltshire Police on 101.

 Find out more about domestic abuse support organisations.
 Find out more about how Wiltshire Police is helping to pilot Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders.

Drink driving

If you suspect someone is drinking and driving contact Wiltshire Police on 101 and select Option 4 on the message system.

Drinking alcohol in public places

To report ongoing problems with drinking in public places, contact your local council. The council can designate an area as an alcohol control zone which means police officers (and in some cases council wardens) can order people to stop drinking and can seize alcohol.

If there is an immediate risk of harm or life is in danger, call 999.

Your local council also have teams that can tackle anti-social behaviour.
 Swindon Council 
 Wiltshire Council

Drug use and dealing

Report drug related crime to your neighbourhood policing team at Wiltshire Police or to Wiltshire Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Wiltshire Police can close down drug factories and arrest anyone in possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia. Offenders could receive a prison sentence and drug dealers can have their assets removed under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Other agencies can support drug users and get them onto rehabilitation programs. 
 Swindon Council 
 Wiltshire Council 
 Avon and Wiltshire NHS Trust 

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F

Fire

To report a fire in progress, call 999. If the fire is deliberate, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service will work with Wiltshire Police and the local council to track down offenders and bring them to justice.

Fireworks

It is illegal to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 18. It is also illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to have fireworks.

If you know of anyone illegally selling fireworks to anyone underage, call your local council’s trading standards department. 
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council 
It is also against the law to let off fireworks after 11pm and before 7am. Exceptions are Bonfire Night (allowed until midnight), New Year’s Eve, Diwali and the Chinese New Year (allowed until 1am).

 For more information, read the Fireworks code
 More information on Fireworks regulations

Flooding

To report localised flooding, contact your local council.

Only if life is in danger or there is serious flooding, call 999 and ask for Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Further information about flooding is available below.
 Swindon Council   Wiltshire Council   Environment Agency
 

Flytipping

To report fly-tipped waste (so it can be removed) or report suspected illegal waste carriers, contact your local council. You can also do this online at   Swindon Council or  Wiltshire Council.

In all cases, give as much detail as possible: if possible the location, vehicle registration and a description of the offender.

To report fly-tipping in progress call Wiltshire Police on 999. 

Fraud and scams

Being a victim of a fraud or a scam can make you feel vulnerable and sometimes people do not want to admit to it. Remember, often those who defraud people are very skilled at doing so.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud or a scam, call Wiltshire Police on 101. If a crime is in progress, call us on 999.

 Read our advice on protecting yourself against fraud 
 Read our advice on protecting yourself against scams 

Fuel – taking without payment

If you find yourself in the situation where a driver has failed to pay for fuel dispensed at your establishment you can contact Wiltshire Police on 101 and ask for a pack to be sent to you electronically or by post.

The pack contains instructions on how your staff should complete all of the sections required and this should be used as a guide. The details are very similar to those required by ‘BOSS’ (British Oil Security Syndicate - Forms CDR-1 and CDR-2N), if you are a member.

This will allow the Police to provide a high quality investigation to you as well as save your staff the frustration of follow-up enquiries. On receipt of the enclosed pack, this will become the minimum level of information that officers require to be able to investigate these offences. Officers will then attend and collect the CCTV and Statement/s in order to progress the enquiry. This will result in more of your crimes being investigated in a more effective and timely manner. If the information in the pack is not completed correctly, or insufficient information is provided by your garage, then you may find that your crime will be marked as undetected immediately as this will indicate to the Police that there are no further lines of to follow.

Once you have completed the pack, contact Wiltshire Police on 101.

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G

Graffiti

To report graffiti (so it can be removed) or report those suspected of being responsible for graffiti contact your neighbourhood policing team, or report it online.  You can also call Wiltshire Police on 101.

In all cases, give as much detail as you can: if possible the location, a description of the offender and a vehicle description if relevant.

To report this type of criminal damage in progress call Wiltshire Police on 999.

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H

Hate crime

Are you, or is someone you know, being bullied, harassed or verbally abused because of your sexual orientation, religion, faith or belief, disability or race? If so, this is a hate incident.

To report a hate incident, call Wiltshire Police on 101. If life is in danger or the crime is in progress, call 999. We have specially trained officers who you can speak to in confidence.

 Read more about hate crime

 Read more about how you can also report hate crime online

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I

Illegally parked vehicles

Report illegally parked cars to your local council. They can deal with cars parked illegally on yellow lines, school markings, in council car parks, permit areas, bus lanes and disabled bays. If parking restrictions are flouted, penalty notices can be issued. 
Dangerous and obstructive parking can be dealt with by council wardens and Wiltshire Police who will advise drivers to move their car to a legal place, issue a fine or in some cases have the car removed.
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council

 
Identity theft

If you think someone is using your personal details without your consent for their own gain, you can report it by calling Wiltshire Police on 101.

 Read more about identity theft and ways to reduce your risk

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L

Littering

Contact your local council to report any incidents and they will arrange for the litter to be cleared away. Council enforcement officers can give an on-the-spot fine to anyone caught dropping litter.
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council

Also see Flytipping.

Lost and found property

If you have found property call Wiltshire Police on 101 and we will log this and take details and a description of the property.

It is likely we will ask if you are able to keep the property if you live within the Wiltshire Police area as our storage is limited. If someone then reports lost property that matches the description we can make arrangements with the person keeping the property to have it returned.

If there is a possibility that any found property is linked to crime then you should report it to Wiltshire Police on 101.

You can also report found property at Enquiry Offices, Police Information Points and Library Information Points and of course your neighbourhood policing team.

Loud music

See Noise nuisance.

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M

Missing people or people who are out of contact

If you are concerned about a missing person, call Wiltshire Police on 101 or call 999 if you believe life is in danger.

If someone is missing because they simply haven’t returned home on time or is late for an appointment, for example, it is sensible to try to contact them first or the last place they were. Also make enquiries with friends, family or neighbours to establish more information and wait a reasonable amount of time before contacting the police.

If you haven’t heard from a neighbour, relative or friend for some time and this is unusual, try to make further enquiries to find out more, or go round to visit them to see everything is alright. If having done this you have not made contact with them, call Wiltshire Police on 101 or call 999 if you believe life is in danger.

There is no rule that states that you have to wait 24 hours to report a missing person. It depends on the person who is missing, their age, mental state and vulnerability.

If the missing person is a child, elderly or a person in a very depressed state then you need to alert the police straight away.

For more information and help please see below and the websites in related information.

Missing People is the UK's only charity dedicated to finding missing people and supporting those left behind. It supports the work of police, Social Services and works in partnership with other agencies in the field.

 Missing People - for sightings and to report someone missing: 
Tel 0500 700 700   

Runaway Helpline - for young people under 18, to call who are away from home or care:
Tel 0808 800 7070, text 80234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Message Home - for missing adults, allowing them to pass a message home:
Tel 0800 700 740 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Mobile phones

If you are reporting a mobile phone has been stolen or lost, call 101. Wiltshire Police will need a record of the IMEI number for your mobile phone so it can be recognised as your phone if it is handed in or recovered. The IMEI/serial number on your phone is a number that is unique to your mobile phone. To find out what your IMEI number is type *#06# into your phone. Also, this IMEI number allows mobile phone operating companies to prevent a reported stolen handset from being used on the network.

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N

Noise nuisance

If there is an ongoing problem, report it to your local council. Please give the time and place of the incident(s) and a description of the offender(s). The council will then work with local agencies, including Wiltshire Police, to deal with the issue. 
Persistent offenders of noise nuisance can be given a warning and if ignored, they can be fined and their sound equipment will be seized.
You can find out more about reporting noise nuisance below.
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council

Noise nuisance because of rowdy behaviour

If rowdy behaviour is violent or likely to cause danger to other people call Wiltshire Police on 999.
You can find information and guidance on noise nuisance on the GOV.UK website
Your local council also have teams that can tackle anti-social behaviour. 
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council

Nuisance motorbikes

Report nuisance motorbikes to Wiltshire Police (either to your neighbourhood policing team or by calling 101) and we will work with other agencies to deal with the issue. 
When reporting the issue, please give as many details as possible, for example the registration number of the vehicle, location and direction of travel and description of the offender(s).

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P

Public events

Contact your local council for further information. Large events may need to be licensed and there may also be a requirement for security to be in place.

If you are planning a small local event where traffic may need to be stopped for a short period of time, for example a small village procession, then call Wiltshire Police on 101 or contact your local neighbourhood policing team.

Some events may attract a policing charge depending on the type of event.

Parking (illegally-parked vehicles)

Illegally-parked cars should be reported to your local council. They can deal with cars parked illegally on: yellow lines, school markings, in council car parks, permit areas, bus lanes and disabled bays. If parking restrictions are flouted, council wardens will issue penalty notices.

Dangerous and obstructive parking can be dealt with by council wardens and Wiltshire Police, who will advise drivers to move their car to a legal place, issue a fine or in some cases have the car removed.
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council 

Pot holes

Your local council is responsible for repairing potholes on local roads. In certain cases (some trunk roads and motorways) maintenance will be the responsibility of the Highways Agency.
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council 

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R

Rape or sexual assault

If you are in immediate danger or an assault has just taken place, call Wiltshire Police on 999. 
We have specially trained officers who can give you immediate support, make you as comfortable as possible and explain the next steps.

 Find out more about rape awareness here 
 Safety information is here
 Find out more about what support is available here

Road Traffic Collisions

Wiltshire Police regularly attends road traffic collisions but the police will not routinely attend those that only involve damage to vehicles, unless it is likely that an offence has been committed.

If there is danger to life or if you suspect a crime is involved (such as drink driving), call 999.

Robbery

If you witness a robbery in progress or the offenders are still nearby, please call 999. To report a theft over 30 minutes after the event, please call 101.

See also Violence.

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S

Segways- use on pavements and private property

Segway use on Pavements

Self-balancing scooters (such as segways, mini segways, Hoverboards and single wheel electric skateboards) may not be driven on a pavement in England and Wales. Under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 (extends to England and Wales only) it is an offence to wilfully ride on the footway. Certain vehicles used by disabled drivers are exempted from these requirements but only where they use Class 2 or Class 3 invalid carriages. Self-balancing scooters are not classed as invalid carriages and so cannot be used on pavements.

Segway use on Private Property

Self-balancing Personal Transporters may be used on private property with the permission of the landowner. An example of this is where BAA has deployed a Segway Personal Transporter at Heathrow airport.

More information can be found on the  CPS website. 

Social media – complaints about

You should only report complaints about the use of social media in exceptional circumstances where a serious threat has been made or there is evidence of a crime or criminal activity, or you or someone else is the victim of a hate crime. Call Wiltshire Police on 101 or dial 999 if life is in danger. See also Hate crime.
 
However, if you have had an argument, dispute or been subject of name calling on a social media site then in the first instance it is your responsibility to either remove that profile or report this to the relevant site administrator or through the appropriate reporting channel on that site, so that steps can be taken to remove a profile or offensive or defamatory material.

 Find out more advice about safety on facebook.

Street lights

Your local council is responsible for maintaining street lighting. To report defective street lights contact your council.
 Swindon Council
 Wiltshire Council 

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T

Terrorism

If you think you have seen someone acting suspiciously, or if you see a vehicle, unattended package or bag which might be a threat, immediately move away and call 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline on 0800 789321.

 Find out more about how you can play your part in counter terrorism 

Theft

Theft, from a house, person, vehicle or business.

If the theft is in progress or has just happened, call Wiltshire Police on 999.

You can also report a minor or non-urgent crime, including theft, theft from a motor vehicle and criminal damage/vandalism online or call Wiltshire Police on 101.

 Read our advice on how to protect yourself and your property from a theft.

Trees

To report fallen branches and trees, contact your local council. If a fallen branch or tree is causing a danger or threat to life, call 999.

Trick or treat

While trick or treating can be fun for young people, for older people and other members of the community it can be intimidating. If you go out trick or treating, try to visit friends and family. Always respect those who do not want to answer their door on Halloween. You can download our Halloween poster link o/s to make it clear you do not welcome trick or treat.

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U

Untaxed vehicles

Untaxed vehicles should be reported to the DVLA – either call 0300 790 6802 or report an untaxed vehicle online.

Uninsured drivers

Driving a vehicle on a road or in a public place without insurance is an offence. It also places a burden on other road users. If you know someone is driving without insurance, call 101.

Find out more about the penalties for uninsured drivers on the  Gov.uk website.

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V

Vandalism

If you notice vandalism then you can report it online or speak to your neighbourhood policing team, or call Wiltshire Police on 101.

See also Criminal damage.

Vehicle crime

See also Car theft.

If a crime is in progress, call 999, otherwise call Wiltshire Police on 101.

 Read more advice on protecting your vehicle 

Victim support

Our website has information and organisations which can help with victim support. You can also view our Contact us page for ways to get in touch. 

Violence

Wiltshire Police takes any report of violence extremely seriously. If a crime is in progress or life is in danger call 999. Or to report a crime of violence that has occurred, call 101.

See also Abuse and assault, Domestic abuseHate crimeRape.

Vulnerable adults or children

If you are concerned about a vulnerable adult or child, please report it by calling 101. If you are concerned for their immediate safety, please call 999.

If you are concerned about a vulnerable child and would like some advice, click below for further information on who you can contact:
 Swindon Council 
 Wiltshire Council 

If you are concerned about a vulnerable adult and would like some advice, click below for further information on who you can contact:
 Swindon Council 
 Wiltshire Council 


You can also visit the  Action on Elder Abuse website or call the helpline on 0808 808 8141.

If a crime is in progress or life is in danger, call 999.

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