Australian Police

Australian Police

The Thin Blue Line – Australian Police

Police Assistance Line


Police Assistance Line (PAL)
Director Chris Beatson

The Police Assistance Line is a 24hour call centre available to police and the community for the reporting of nonurgent crime and incidents. PAL operates statewide throughout NSW all day, every day, all year.

PAL’s main contribution is to take non-urgent calls from the public to free up police in the field. Currently, PAL frees up the equivalent of 420 police annually.

PAL provides the public with a choice on how they wish to report crimes and saves police time and resources. Police will always attend when requested.

Although there are call centres at Tuggerah and Lithgow, the public can call a single phone number 131444 for the cost of a local call from anywhere in NSW. PAL operates as a single virtual call centre.

PAL’s concept on its large scale is a world first in policing with no other organisation doing it the way we do. PAL has attracted international interest with visits from Scotland Yard, Kent Constabulary, Hong Kong and New Zealand police. On the home front, the Australian Federal Police and State police organisations have also visited our site.

How Does it Work?

On PAL’s advice, Telstra has pointed its telephone exchanges in the Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong areas to Tuggerah and the remaining exchanges to Lithgow. At each of the PAL sites, there is telephone exchange and computer telephony integration (CTI) equipment.

Let’s look at an example. If somebody calls PAL from Temora, they will go to Lithgow. If somebody is available to take the call it is taken at Lithgow. If, however, nobody is available at Lithgow, the CTI equipment looks for somebody at Tuggerah. If nobody is available at either site, the caller is given the opportunity to leave a voice mail message or wait in the queue. While people wait in the queue, they hear regular voice messages and music.

PAL is heavily dependent on technology. Information taken by Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) is transmitted by the Service’s state-wide data network to a secure site.
How is PAL Staffed?

PAL is staffed by a team of civilian CSRs, police supervisors, trainers, administration staff and technicians.
PAL averages 2000 calls each day comprising:

  • malicious damage
  • stealing
  • break, enter & steal
  • stolen vehicles/vessels
  • lost property
  • minor traffic collisions
  • general information.

The following criteria must be met before a call is taken:

  • the crime is not in progress
  • the victim/s are not traumatised
  • low probability of the crime being solved
  • the victim agrees to the report being taken over the telephone.

Call information is immediately available to police state-wide. The incidents are examined by local police to identify trends and determine if any follow up action is necessary. Where an immediate response is needed, officers will be despatched. The 000 number is always available for crimes in progress or other urgent situations.

After a crime has been reported over the telephone, customers are provided with a reference number.

PAL has won both State and National Australian Telecommunications Associations awards for the best new call centre.

Back to Support Command Index

2 thoughts on “Police Assistance Line

  • Bogdan Cywinski

    Dear Sirs,
    Three days ago, I wrote an inquiry to the Customer Assistance Unit of the NSW Police Force and today I got a reply to contact you on this matter, so I repeat everything as I wrote to the Customer Assistance Unit.

    Inquiry regarding the video recording of a traffic policeman.

    I am writing because on June 27, 2022, while working as a taxi driver, I was fined three tickets by a police officer named Nigel Bruce Wade (motorcycle traffic police officer). Since I do not feel guilty of any of the alleged offenses, I will defend my case in court.
    I would like to ask:
    1. Is an officer required to record the course of the intervention with a helmet-mounted camera during a roadside inspection?
    2. Is the officer obliged to inform me that the intervention is being recorded with a camera mounted in his helmet?
    3. Do I have the right to obtain a fragment of the video recording of the intervention?
    4. How can I get a copy of the recorded intervention?

    I kindly ask you to provide me with as much information as possible regarding the above questions and thank you in advance for your answer.

    Bogdan Cywinski

  • Alison Bailey

    (3rd, 4th September 2021
    Service NSW had been very vague as I tried to get assistance
    getting to the exemption form and finding out whether my carer could travel for me.)

    On Saturday 4th September at approximately 11am, I rang the Police Assistance Line (131444).

    An extremely helpful young lady by the name of SOPHIE listened to me with care and
    understanding then set about putting me on the correct path to getting the exemption
    form I needed.

    I did get the form filled out and did get the exemption all thanks to Sophie.

    Please extend my sincere gratitude to Sophie. Without her assistance, the welfare of two
    dogs would have been considerably compromised!


    Kind Regards
    Alison Bailey  (Old and not very good with computers)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *