20+ Useful Phrases Used at the Police Station in English

Last Updated on November 3, 2023

What are some phrases used at the police station? If you’ve ever been to a police station, you know that the officers there have their way of talking. Some of the phrases they use might sound strange to us civilians, but they’re just shorthand for everyday situations. Part of the police officer’s job is to communicate quickly and clearly with their colleagues, so they use a specific set of phrases to do that.

Police Station Language 

Police station language is a specific set of phrases and slang used by police officers when communicating with each other or the public. Of course, you don’t often hear these phrases on the news, but they are widely used in police departments worldwide. We will look at some of the phrases used at the police station, their meanings, and how to use them.

Importance of understanding police station language:

While it can seem confusing to outsiders, understanding police station language is essential for any civilian who might interact with law enforcement personnel. It allows civilians to understand the situation better and respond appropriately, as well as what the police are saying. It also demonstrates respect for the profession and can help build trust between police officers and civilians.

English Phrases Used at the Police Station

Phrases Used at the Police Station Pin

English Phrases Used at the Police Station

Phrases Used at the Police Station for Police Officers

  • The suspect is in custody as of now

This phrase means that the suspect is currently being detained by an officer or at a police station.

  • We have a K9 unit on the scene

A K9 unit is a police officer who specializes in animal control. They are often sent to handle dangerous or difficult situations involving animals.

  • We need backup

This phrase means that another police officer or squad is needed to help with a situation.

  • Let’s bring him in for questioning

The suspect will be brought to a police station and interrogated.

  • We have a warrant

The police have been granted permission from a judge to search a home or individual.

  • You are under arrest
  • You have the right to remain silent

When an officer is arresting a suspect, they use two phrases: “You are under arrest” and “you have the right to remain silent.” These statements alert the suspect that they are being taken into custody and inform them of their rights.

Phrases Used at the Police Station for Civilians

  • How can I report a crime?

To ask for information on how to inform the police of a criminal offense that has occurred.

  • Can I file a complaint?

To ask if it is possible to make an official statement to the police about a crime or problem.

  • I need to make a statement

To express the need to give a written or verbal account of what happened during an incident.

  • I want to ask for a lawyer

To express the desire to request the assistance of an attorney to represent you in a legal matter.

  • What is the process to post bail?

To ask for information on how to pay a sum of money in exchange for temporary release from custody.

  • I have evidence to submit

To inform the police that you have physical or documentary evidence to support a case.

  • I want to press charges

To express the desire to formally accuse someone of a crime and request prosecution.

  • Can you tell me the status of my case?

To ask for information about the progress of a particular case.

  • How can I get a police report?

To ask for information on how to obtain a written record of a crime or incident that has been reported to the police.

  • I would like to file a report.

This means you want to make a written record of an incident, crime, or accident that you are reporting to the police.

  • Can I speak to an officer, please?

This is a request to speak to a police officer in person.

  • I have some information regarding a crime.

This means you have information that may be relevant to an ongoing investigation or a recent crime.

  • I need to report a theft.

This means you want to inform the police that something has been stolen or taken without your consent.

  • I was a witness to an accident.

This means you saw an incident or event, such as a car crash, happen and want to provide a statement or report to the police.

  • I need to report a missing person.

This means you want to inform the police that someone is missing and you need assistance in finding them.

  • Can I speak to a detective?

This is a request to speak to a police detective, who is responsible for investigating crimes.

  • I need to report a break-in.

This means you want to inform the police that someone has entered a property without permission.

  • I have evidence related to a case.

This means you have physical or testimony-based information that may be relevant to a legal or criminal investigation.

  • Can you help me with this traffic citation?

This means you are seeking the police’s assistance in resolving a ticket or citation for a traffic violation.

  • Can I see a copy of my police report?

This is a request to receive a copy of the written report you made to the police.

Idioms and Expressions about Crime

  • Playing cat and mouse

This idiom is used to describe a situation in which two adversaries are trying to outwit one another. For example, the suspect was playing cat and mouse with the police, but eventually, they caught him.

  • The long arm of the law

It refers to the power of law enforcement and is used to describe their ability to enforce the law even outside of their immediate jurisdiction.

  • A criminal mastermind

An expression used to describe a person who is highly intelligent and organized when it comes to committing crimes.

  • On the wrong side of the law

This idiom describes a person who has broken the law and is now facing the consequences.

  • Fly in the ointment

It means a hidden problem or something that could potentially ruin a good situation. For example, the police uncovered a fly in the ointment that could derail the investigation.

  • Do time

This means serving a prison sentence.

  • A crooked cop

This means a police officer who is corrupt or unethical.

  • Behind bars

This means in prison.

  • A getaway car

This is a vehicle used by criminals to escape after committing a crime.

  • A break-in

This means an unauthorized entry into a building or property.


Phrases used at the police station and idioms and expressions about crime are important aspects of understanding the language used by law enforcement personnel. By being aware of police station language, individuals can better understand what is being said to them and respond accordingly. Being able to communicate effectively with police officers can have a significant effect on how situations are handled, as well as ensure that everyone is kept safe.

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