I often receive emails from people telling me that some of the chief constable email addresses I have listed, do not work. This is usually due a change of Chief Constable at that particular force, but sometimes it is down to the fact that the relevant force have refused to issue me with the correct Chief Constable’s email address for some bogus reason.
The police service are very obstructive when it comes to providing the public with contact email addresses – that are, by right, in the public domain – including the email addresses of police constables. In some cases, the email address can be correctly guessed as the police use a standard format:
Firstname (dot) Lastname @ force location (dot) pnn.police.uk
So if you want to contact, say, PC Andrew Bland at Cheshire Constabulary then you would type email@example.com
It doesn’t matter if you capitalise any part of the address (such as: Andrew.Bland@Cheshire.PNN.Police.UK) because email addresses are not case sensitive. The target server will disregard any uppercase characters and apply lowercase to all characters.
Some police forces abbreviate their force location and to further complicate matters, not all of them use “pnn” as part of their email address. To make it easier for you to guess, I have provided a full list of regional force server addresses at the bottom of this page. Simply add the officers firstname.lastname to it and see if it bounces back!
If there are officers at the same force with the same name then you may have to add the officer’s collar number to the email address. In the case of doubt, you should call 101 and ask to be put through to the relevant force. All calls are automated so you won’t be asked why you need to speak to a force outside of your catchment area. Of course, if you’re having to contact 101 you should simply ask for the officers email address in full! Call handlers should provide them upon request. Unfortunately, what the police should do and what they actually do are different things. It’s not uncommon for call handlers to pull down the shutters, while screeching ‘data protection!’ or insist the caller give a reason for making the request. In those cases, just say that you need to submit some personal information to the officer in question. The call handler should not attempt to vet private communications or act as a go-between you and the officer. If they refuse to co-operate, just hang up and try later on – or the following day – where you will hopefully get someone more helpful.
Personally, I avoid all communication with the police unless it is absolutely necessary, but if you do choose to email a police officer then ensure you don’t use any kind of language that they will misconstrue as a threat, or malicious communications. Nor should you send abuse or harassing emails to the officer concerned. Only use the email address if you have a genuine reason for doing so.
If you would rather the police do not have your email address or IP information, then I would recommend using an anonymous online email sender such as this one. You are free to write anything you want as a return email address and leave the name section blank. I can’t vouch for the reliability of these types of websites, or whether or not a receiving server will block them, but they are the quickest method of sending an anonymous email without having to resort to proxy servers or a Tor browser.
Locating the IP address of an originating email is actually very hard to do. There are tools and websites that allow you to enter the headers of any email you receive and it will attempt to locate the email’s origins. In the case of Gmail and Outlook subscribers, this IP address will usually come back as the central server that organisation uses as part of their email sending services. Email headers do not, as standard, reveal the email address from your home or place of work.
I would recommend using Protonmail as the most secure and popular method of protecting your email identity. It is free to use and does not require an existing email address, or mobile phone number as almost every other free email service requires. The site was developed by scientists, engineers, and developers drawn together by a shared vision of protecting civil liberties online. All of their servers are located in Switzerland and protected by strict Swiss privacy laws. Messages are stored on ProtonMail servers in encrypted format. Because data is encrypted at all steps, the risk of message interception is largely eliminated.
You can also use anonymous methods to make legitimate complaints against a police officer that you may have had a bad experience with, but you must provide your name and a valid email address the police can respond to (hence why Protonmail would be more suitable). The public (and the police) seem to believe that a complainant must provide a valid home address to register an official complaint, but that simply isn’t true. I would never provide a home address when making a complaint because this will automatically be added to police systems against whatever data they already hold on you.
Incidentally, calling 101 – even on a withheld number – will not prevent the police from seeing the originating number on their switchboard. This is because all emergency service call centres strip away call cloaking. The only way you can prevent a number showing up on police systems is by using Skype or a similar internet phone line service.
Although there is nothing illegal about using any of these methods to send emails, and wanting to remain anonymous does not equate to criminality, the police are a paranoid bunch and they will go out of their way to misinterpret any attempts at communicating them as ‘malicious’ or ‘harassing’. So please ensure you use these resources wisely.
I’m sure there are many other methods of hiding your identity via email and telephone services, and I’m sure the technically savvy of you who read this will be emailing me to let me know what they are. Meanwhile, if you find any of the email addresses I list on this website are wrong, then please email me here so I can update them.
Avon & Somerset Constabulary
British Transport Police
City of London Police
Civil Nuclear Constabulary
Devon & Cornwall Police
Dyfed Powys Police
Greater Manchester Police
Metropolitan Police Service
North Wales Police
North Yorkshire Police
Police Service of Northern Ireland
South Wales Police
South Yorkshire Police
Thames Valley Police
West Mercia Police
West Midlands Police
West Yorkshire Police