Don't call 110 - it makes a bad impression

Think before calling

Thinking of calling 110 to report a situation to the police? Think again. Today's Southern Weekly printed the following anecdote from "winyear," a Hangzhou resident who posted it to the paper's BBS:

A fine for calling 110?

My office gets burglarized a lot. There were two incidents in the past few days, so we called 110 to report them. The police were amazingly quick and immediately sent someone over to investigate. All told, there were three sets of cops: first, a team from the precinct office, then one from the 110 command center, and finally from the city PSB, which came to collect evidence or something.

The next day, someone from the station came down to fine us. The reason seemed to be that we had called 110 rather than calling them directly. Reading between the lines, it was probably because the 110 system was province-wide, so when we called, it aired the local precinct's dirty laundry and affected how their superiors evaluated them.

Later, I learned that this was due to a "joint deterrence agreement" signed last year (the agreement was not optional: every work unit in the precinct had to sign at the police station), and that things were run according to those rules. Apparently, we've got to think it over before calling 110 in the future.

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There are currently 6 Comments for Don't call 110 - it makes a bad impression.

Comments on Don't call 110 - it makes a bad impression

This is a good proof that central government has weak control at local level.

This is a syndrome of mixed authoritarianism and democratism. Worse that any of two. At local level, officials often interpret policies in their own funny, woefully convenient ways.

Nowadays, these things will be uncovered soon and get fixed, but will happen again for several times, until the final but superficial cure occurs.

Where's the 'democratism'?

Sorry, Lark, I don't think it demonstrates anything of the sort.

In Australia you called 000 (the '911'/'110'/'999' number in Australia) to report a theft you would be fined. I am sure similar legislation exists everywhere.

An emergency is, well, just that. Unless the thief is _in the house while you're also there_ burglary is, well, not.

I'm not sure I'd read a whole lot into this- I've called 110 in Beijing and didn't have any problem (but then perhaps it's because I was a foreigner =P). Regardless, one incident in a country as huge as China doesn't mean it's a big problem.


At the local level, officials can have their own interpreting of things. This is inner "democracy". However, this leads to outer confusion, because one same thing can be so different. Please be aware the context I used.


The 000 you referred to is emergency number. 110, ATM, is not emergency number. Although some cities plan to, or already make it emergency only, it's yet uncommon to think it is emergency only. You can't simply make 110 emergency only and citizens automatically know that.

For example, if I am from Beijing, visiting Hangzhou, and want to call police for help, I would call 110, with common sense. It's difficult for me to phone 88776655 in east Hangzhou city and phone 77885566 in west Hangzhou city. Who can remember these numbers? How can I know these numbers?

And wrt. post in Southern Weekly's BBS, situation can be simple: "You call wrong number". But it can also be: "Your call make my upper level think I can't do things well", "Your call leave an impression that local public security is bad", etc.

I think the poster means latter.


btw, you should read the title carefully
"Don't call 110 - it makes a bad impression".

It is very subtle. Who will have such bad impression, you caller or the police upper level?

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