Will Dialing 112 Connect Me With the Local Police?

A popularly shared post on Facebook encourages readers to call 112, but is this real or an urban legend?

"EVERYBODY SHOULD READ THIS!!!!!!!!!WARNING: Some knew about the red light on cars, but not Dialing 112."

That's how a popular post on Facebook starts, and according to police, it's more than people should bother reading.

The story goes that a young girl sees flashing police lights behind her while she's driving, but the car doesn't look like a normal police car.

The girl in the car, heeding her parents’ advice, called 112 on her cell phone and was supposedly connected to a dispatcher who checked the area and told her there were no police cars in the area. The dispatcher told the girl to keep driving because help was on the way.

"Ten minutes later four cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes."

While 112 is the emergency response number in Europe, many American cell and landline providers don't recognize the number and you will not get any response, according to urbanlegends.about.com.

"These messages claim that dialing 112 on a cell phone will connect the caller to state or local police 'in all 50 states.' This is NOT true . Whether you're calling from a landline or a cell phone, 911 is still the only universal emergency number throughout the U.S." the about.com article says.

Grafton Police Chief Normand A. Crepeau Jr. said he had not heard of the urban legend and that he didn't know of any inquiries from residents to Grafton Police.

According to Holliston Police Chief John Moore, any officer in any police car will be identifiable.

"Any unmarked cruiser that makes a traffic stop usually tries to have a marked cruiser nearby as backup. Also, any police officer who approaches a vehicle needs to have his or her badge and name displayed on their outer garment," Moore said.

Still, if you don't feel safe, Moore says, it is OK to call the local police department.

"Any legitimate police officer will not have a problem with the short delay that may result in the confirmation," he said.

stormy March 13, 2013 at 03:58 PM
"The girl in the car, heeding her parents’ advice, called 112 on her cell phone" and this is where the story gets ridiculous. what happened to 911? why didn't the parents advise her to call that? because then, there wouldn't be this silly, fluff article, written and inserted in the Patch. but - "Everybody should read this !!!" What's next, the "flash the oncoming car, with it's headlights off, only to be tracked and killed, as part of a gang initiation" story...? c'mon man...
Danielle Horn March 13, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Stormy, you won't hear any argument from me that it's silly. But after seeing it on nearly a dozen Facebook pages, and receiving it in my inbox: we thought there would be some that could benefit from the clarification.


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