Editor’s Note: What do you do in an emergency situation in China when you are unable to call the police? The Chinese police respond to emergency texts to 12110. This translated article gives instructions on how to successfully send an SMS to the police.
Did you know that you can text the police in an emergency situation in China? January 10 was “110 Publicity Day in China,” and the government ran a campaign to raise awareness about texting the police when they are unable to call. You can notify the police by sending an SMS to 12110 + your city’s three-digit area code. Here is when you should text the police, and what you should write:
When should I text the police?
There a number of special situations in which it is better to text the police than to call them. These include:
1) During a robbery on a public bus
2) In cases of abduction and kidnapping
3) When you are in a dangerous place with gambling, prostitutes, drugs, etc.
4) Any other situation when it is unsafe to speak on the phone
How do I text the police?
To text the Chinese police, send an SMS to 12110 + your city’s three-digit area code. For example, those in Beijing would text 12110010, and those in Zhengzhou would text 12110371. Don’t know your area code? Here is a list of the area codes of China’s major cities. If your area code is only two digits, then add a zero to the beginning like the Beijing example.
The SMS should be as brief as possible and should include the nature of the incident, your location, and the time. The text should include your address and apartment number if the crime is happening in your home. For example, if there are thieves in your Shenzhen home you can text, “Shenzhen, Cuizhu Lu (Luohu District), Jinfu Building, 15F, Unit 1503, there is a thief.” We believe you should send the text in Chinese if you can, but send it in English if you have no other option—translation software is now easily available and the police should be able to translate your message in an emergency situation.
It is best if the SMS is sent to the police several times and also sent to family and friends who are able to call 110 for a direct line to the police.
If the police receive an SMS asking for help, they will respond to the text in a timely manner to confirm receipt. The sender should make sure they receive confirmation from the police when they text for help. Make sure your phone muted if you are dealing with an abductor, a thief, or any other kind of dangerous person.
The Chinese police highlight in their campaign that texting 12110 should only be done in special circumstances. It is better to directly call 110 in an emergency situation.
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Keywords: 12110 China Texting the police in China
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