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An Expat’s Guide to Dutch Emergency Numbers

Categories: Culture

Life in the Netherlands is generally enjoyable, with a welcoming, safe atmosphere. But in any country, emergencies can happen. Whether you’re new to the Netherlands or need a refresher, this handy guide lists the essential Dutch emergency numbers you’ll want to know. From fires and medical emergencies to lost pets and a safe walk home, we’ve got you covered!

It’s important to note that our list is not comprehensive – many hyper-specific hotlines are set up for different events or concerns. Be sure to check government websites for more detailed information. You can also find the contact details of local organizations and outreach groups.

112 Dutch Emergency Numbers

General Emergency: 112

The most essential emergency number to remember in the Netherlands is 112. This hotline covers emergencies requiring police, fire, or ambulance services—just like dialing 911 in the U.S. or 999 in the U.K. If you are in a life-threatening situation or witnessing a crime, calling 112 should be your first action. The operators speak multiple languages, so don’t worry if your Dutch isn’t perfect—they’ll understand you.

Non-Emergency Police Assistance: 0900-8844

You may find that you have non-urgent matters involving the police, like reporting a theft, property damage, or social concerns. In these situations, it may not be appropriate to dial the emergency number 112. Instead, you should call 0900-8844. This number connects you directly to your local police station. It is used to log and respond to incidents that don’t require immediate action but still need police involvement. It’s also helpful in seeking advice on legal issues or safety concerns in your area.

a puppy with its paw on a red medical kit

Animal Emergencies: 144

Seeing an animal in distress can be stressful and worrying. In the Netherlands, a nation of animal lovers, you can call 144 to report an animal in distress. Whether it’s a stray dog, an injured bird, or even loose farm animals, this Dutch emergency number will connect you with the dierenpolitie (animal police force). They will ensure the safety and welfare of the animals involved. You can also use this number to report concerns regarding animal abuse.

Coastguard Emergency: 088-958-4040

If you live in the Netherlands or are just visiting, one thing you’ll quickly realize is how much water there is in the country! Whether by the coastline or one of the many canals and rivers that crisscross the country, the Coastguard is crucial. This is especially true if you’re a boating enthusiast or spend time near the water, fishing or enjoying watersports. Dial 088-958-4040 for all maritime emergencies, such as stranded boats, distressed swimmers, or oil spills.

a woman in a green shirt in the bathroom suffering from food poisoning

Poison Control: 030-2748888

The Netherlands has a broad industry and many production plants and processing units. As such, a special poison control helpline is available at 030-2748888. In case of accidental poisoning or chemical exposure, the Dutch Poison Control Center can provide expert advice. They can guide you through dealing with various types of poisoning and whether further medical assistance is needed. In a significant incident, it is advised to also contact 112.

Real Also: What is the NL Alert

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 0800-0113

Mental health is a growing concern worldwide, and the Netherlands is no exception. If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis or know someone who is, 113 Suicide Prevention is there to offer support. Dial 0800-0113 or 113 to speak with someone who can help you through a difficult time. Other organizations also exist in the Netherlands and on a global scale that can help you or others work through a mental health crisis.

Domestic Violence Hotline: 0800-2000

Domestic violence is a serious issue. If you need help, you can dial 0800-2000. This Dutch emergency number connects you with Veilig Thuis, a team of professionals who can provide a route for you to remove yourself from your situation. They also offer support services for victims of domestic violence. If you suspect domestic violence, you can also dial this number. If you find yourself in immediate danger, the emergency number 112 should be used to alert police and medical services.

a black and white image of a person cowering against the wall

Sexual Assault Support: 0800-0188

There is a specialized support hotline for victims of sexual assault in the Netherlands. You can reach the Sexual Assault Center by dialling 0800-0188. This confidential service provides guidance, counseling, and assistance with medical and legal resources. It also helps you report incidents. You can also use the Dutch emergency number 112 or the non-emergency number 0900-8844.

Neighborhood Watch

Many localities have community safety services that work with the police to keep neighborhoods safe. There is no centralized number for these groups. Check with your local municipality or community centers. Knowing the details of community services and neighborhood watch groups is useful. This is especially true if you plan to stay long-term.

two sets of feet walking in the park

Walk-Home Services and Student Safety

Some universities and student associations offer walk-home services to ensure nighttime safety in cities with large student populations, like Amsterdam and Utrecht. These services are often organized by volunteers or campus security. Check with your university’s student office or campus safety department to determine if such services are available. While student life in the Netherlands is generally considered very safe, taking precautions wherever possible is always a good idea.

In Conclusion

It’s always better to be prepared; knowing these Dutch emergency numbers can make a significant difference in critical situations. Check with local community groups to find out contact information for more local services, but know that whether you need police, medical help, or support for mental health issues, these numbers are your lifeline. Keep them handy, share them with friends, and don’t hesitate to call 112 when in doubt.

Safety first, always!