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Helping Tourists - English for Police

This page from our English for Police section covers language police need when interacting with tourists in an English-speaking context.

Example Sentences

Questions tourists ask police

  • I'm lost. Can you help me find the Pacific Hotel?
  • I'm looking for the American Consulate / Embassy.
  • My luggage / suitcase was stolen. What should I do?
  • Who can we trust to exchange our money?
  • Where is the bad part of town?
  • Please help us. Our child is missing.

Questions police ask tourists

  • Which hotel are you staying at?
  • When did you lose your wallet?
  • How much money was in your purse?
  • What did the thief look like?
  • What was the man wearing?
  • Did he have a weapon?
  • Where/When did you last see your child?
  • How old is your child?
  • What was your child wearing?

Comforting a tourist in distress

  • Please stay calm. I am going to help you.
  • We will do everything we can.
  • I'll give you a map of the city.
  • Try not to panic.
  • I can give you a ride to the hospital.
  • The ambulance is on its way.
  • Don't worry, everything is going to be okay.

Sample Conversation

A Spanish police officer helps a British woman to find her missing child...

Woman: Help! Police!

Police: What's wrong?

Woman: My daughter is missing. I can't find her anywhere!

Police: Okay. Calm down. I'm going to help you find her. What's her name?

Woman: Erica. She's only five. She doesn't know how to speak Spanish!

Police: Okay. What does Erica look like?

Woman: She has brown curly hair. She's skinny and small for her age.

Police: Okay. What is she wearing today?

Woman: Blue shorts and a pink T-shirt. She has a hat on too, I think.

Police: How long ago did she go missing?

Woman: I've been looking for her for almost an hour now.

Police: And where did you last see her?

Woman: We were just shopping in the vegetable section. I turned around and she was gone.

Police: Don't worry, everything is going to be okay.

Woman: What should I do?

Police: Stay right at the front of the store in case she comes looking for you. We'll start looking for her now.

Check your understanding

Test your understanding of the conversation above with this quick quiz.

1. Why is the woman panicking?

her child is injured
her daughter is lost
a baby was kidnapped
a) her child is injured b) her daughter is lost c) a baby was kidnapped

2. Which is true about Erica?

she's wearing a pink shirt
she has a blue T-shirt on
she disappeared a minute earlier
a) she's wearing a pink shirt b) she has a blue T-shirt on c) she disappeared a minute earlier

3. Where was the little girl last seen?

in the toy section
at the missing person's counter
in the vegetable aisle
a) in the toy section b) at the missing person's counter c) in the vegetable aisle

Your score is:

Correct answers: