How to use our text number: Q&A

You can text us on 61016 to tell us about non-emergency incidents. In an emergency always dial 999.

What information should I include in my text?

Tell us the nature of the incident, the location and the time. For example, ‘Abusive man on the 7pm Sutton Coldfield to Birmingham New Street service. He was threatening people, and then got off at Birmingham New Street.’

Will I get a reply?

You will receive a text to confirm that your message was received. We will then follow up and ask for more information if required, or let you know what action is being or was taken in response to your text.

Will you call me back?

We will not call you unless we have agreed that with you beforehand.

How much will it cost to text?

Your mobile service provider may issue a small charge to text 61016. The exact cost will depend on your network and tariff.

Is the text number anonymous?

Yes, you can text us anonymously if you wish. You don’t have to include your name or any identifying details in your text.

Will you try to identify me from my number?

We will not routinely conduct subscriber checks to find out who you are if you have sent a text anonymously, however, there may be occasions where this is necessary.

Can I text you in an emergency?

In an emergency always call 999. The 61016 text number is monitored 24/7 but there is no guarantee that your text will be received in time, so you should not use it to call for assistance in an emergency.

What about in places where there is no phone signal, such as on the Underground?

In these cases, there are other ways to get in touch with us:

  • In an emergency, you should use the emergency handles on trains and help points on station platforms, or speak to a member of staff or a police officer. If you are travelling through a station with wifi but don't have phone signal, you can also email us at [email protected].
  • If it is not an emergency, you should wait until you have a signal before texting us.
  • In any situation, you can always speak to a member of railway staff or a police officer. 

Find more about when to call 999.

What happens if I do report an emergency by text?

The texts will be monitored 24/7, however because we cannot guarantee that texts will be received immediately we will not know if the emergency is current and/or ongoing. We will of course send officers to respond when appropriate but you should always use 999 in an emergency.

What happens if I report a crime that isn't on the rail network?

We have processes in place to make sure that our colleagues in other forces are made aware of anything that is reported to us in error. We already do this with phone calls and emails. 

Who deals with text messages sent to 61016?

The texts are monitored 24/7, 365 days a year by our First Contact Centre based in Birmingham.

Can I send images?

No, we cannot receive images via this text number.

Can I send video or sound clips?

No. Unfortunately we are not able to receive moving images or audio. However if people capture incidents on their phone we can arrange to collect the footage as part of the evidence gathering process or they can be emailed to [email protected].

There is already a number for the Safer Travel Team in the West Midlands: which number should I use?

If you are in the Centro area, you can report non-emergency incidents on the railway or Metro using the text 61016 service or by calling 0800 40 50 40.

What about other types of messages, such as iMessage or WhatsApp?

This is a text messaging service only. Unfortunately we don't support other instant messaging applications at the moment. However, you can email us at [email protected] or call us on 0800 40 50 40 if you do not want to text us.