When is it time for police to intervene?

When is it time for police to intervene?

It is certainly frowned upon to call out the police unnecessarily, as each call-out uses taxpayers’ money, and if you do not need their assistance, someone who does could be going without. However, don’t be too quick to dismiss your situation as frivolous. Instead, assess the situation and follow the checklist below. If you answer yes to any of these three questions, calling the police is justified.

Do you feel as if you are in imminent danger?

Even if there isn’t a direct threat, it is possible that you are still in danger. If you feel unsafe, it is your right to contact the proper authority. Having a panic button like the one on the iER app can be a great reassurance. With one click, you can have the iER call centre on the line, and the trained agents will assess the situation and send out the proper authorities.

If you feel something isn’t right, don’t wait. A pre-emptive strike can save lives.

Is something illegal happening?

Sometimes, people can feel sheepish calling the cops, even if something unsavoury is happening. Criminal activity has been somewhat normalised by the media and other influences, but if you see illegal activity happening in your area and you feel uncomfortable, don’t be scared to report it to the authorities.

No crime is too small or insignificant to report.


If someone threatens to do something violent to someone else or themselves, you are well within your right to call the police to intervene. Sometimes people say things metaphorically, but if you feel that this particular situation shouldn’t be taken with a pinch of salt, then err on the side of caution.

iER is South Africa’s only dedicated emergency response and disaster management network backed by our own emergency-trained call centre designed to respond to any emergency situation 24 hours a day, every day!

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