In some special circumstances, when you feel unsafe to speak on the phone, instead of calling 110, it might be preferable to send an SMS to the police.
Some examples of these situations:
1) On a bus or train, during a robbery
2) When you feel threatened – when there is gambling, prostitutes, drugs, violence involved
3) While being kidnapped or when you are at home and there are burglars in the house.
To text the Chinese police, send an SMS to 12110 + your city’s three-digit area code (512 for Suzhou). So for people in Suzhou, the number to save to your address book would be 12110512.
If your area code has only two digits, then add a zero to the beginning (for example, the area code for Shanghai is 21 so make it 021. The number to text would be 12110021)
Texting 12110 should only be done in this kind of special circumstances. In most emergency situations it is better to directly call 110.
The SMS should be as brief as possible and should include your location and the nature of the incident. For example, if you are at home and you notice there are burglars in your house you can text: “Suzhou, SIP, 1 Jinjihu DaDao, 12-003 Flower Garden, thieves in my home.” Best is to text in Chinese, but if you cannot do so you can text in English, the police should be able to translate your message.