Report a Crime
Call the Police Department at 911 for emergencies or (510) 981-5900 for non-emergency incidents that require immediate response. File a report online for certain types of non-urgent crimes.
Call 911 in case of emergency
In an emergency, call 911. To connect directly with the Berkeley Police Department from your cellphone, call (510) 981-5911.
The dispatcher will ask you questions about what happened, who is involved, where the incident is occurring, and other details to assess how urgently police response is needed and how many officers to send.
Calls are prioritized into four categories:
- Priority 1: Calls dispatched immediately. These calls include situations involving threat to life, crime of violence, in progress felonies, missing juveniles (under 12 years old), and accidents with injuries.
- Priority 2: These calls should be dispatched within 20 minutes. They include situations involving business or residential alarms, calls with a threat of violence, and suspicious circumstances (involving suspicious vehicles, or suspicious persons).
- Priority 3: These calls should be dispatched within 60 minutes. These are calls in which a significant amount of time has passed since the crime occurred. These include crimes such as burglary, thefts, vandalism, with the responsible parties gone.
- Priority 4 and 5: These calls include parking matters and abandoned automobiles.
Call the non-emergency line for incidents requiring immediate police attention
For immediate police response, call (510) 981-5900. Situations that require immediate police attention include:
- You, or someone you've spoken to, knows who committed the crime
- There is potential evidence that can be collected or something was left behind by the suspect
- Your vehicle, trailer, motorcycle, scooter or license plate has been stolen
For incidents that occurred outside of the City of Berkeley, contact the Police Department for that jurisdiction. For incidents that occurred on a freeway or state highway, call California Highway Patrol at (707) 551-4100. For incidents that occurred on University of California property, contact the UC Police Department at (510) 642-6760.
Report non-urgent incidents online
See the list below for types of crimes that you can report using our online system. You must have a valid email address to report a crime online.
Harassing phone calls
Report repeated, unwanted phone calls of an annoying or threatening nature. Examples include immediate hang-ups or obscene language with no known suspect. See penal code 653m.
Report theft of your personal identifying information and use of it to get credit, goods or services. Examples include someone obtaining a credit card using your SSN or getting phone service using your personal information. See penal code 530.3.
Report property taken without your permission. Property known to be stolen and missing may be reported. Lost property is not a theft. See penal code 484 (a).
Theft from vehicle and auto burglary
Report property taken from a car (including catalytic converters). You may also report a break-in to a car, whether or not property was taken. See penal code 459.
Report permanent defacement or damage to public or private property. Examples include any graffiti, knocking over mailbox, throwing rocks through a window, etc. See penal code 594 (a).
Vandalism to vehicle
Report tampering to a vehicle (see theft from vehicle section above for theft of catalytic converter or damage related to car break-in). Examples include keying, or breaking windows, side mirrors, or wipers. See California vehicle code 10852.
Police will review your report within two business days
After submitting your report, you will receive a temporary tracking number. Police personnel will review your report to verify that you provided all required information and that the incident meets the minimum reporting requirements.
If further investigation of your case is needed, you may be contacted by police personnel for additional information. Upon approval, a permanent Berkeley Police Department report number and a PDF e-copy of your report will be emailed to you.
False reports and false alarms
False reports and false alarms cause a public safety issue by taking resources away from real emergencies. Filing a false police report is a violation of California Penal Code Section 148.5, which prohibits the filing of a false report of a criminal offense.
False alarms may occur when alarm systems are mistakenly activated through malfunction or improper use. After the first false alarm, you will be fined for additional false alarms within a 90 day period:
- 1 alarm: No Charge
- 2 alarms: $75
- 3 alarms: $100
- 4 alarms: $125
- Subsequent alarms: $125 each
If payment for a false alarm is not received within 30 days of the invoice date, the address will be placed on a No Response List until payment is made. If an alarm event occurs at an address on the No Response List, police will not respond.