Have you ever seen a police car zooming past your house with the sirens blaring and wondered what on earth was going on? Or are you simply wanting to know whether you will be stuck in a traffic jam due to congestion? You can find out by listening to police and other emergency service broadcasts. Whether you are an aspiring journalist, a concerned member of the public or simply a little bit nosy, we’ll tell you exactly how you can listen to live police radio frequencies from the comfort of your own home and at no cost whatsoever.

How do police scanners work?

The reason members of the public can tune in is because most emergency services use a low frequency on their radios, making them very easy for the amateur radio enthusiast to pick up. Traditionally, buying a police scanner was the only way of listening in on the emergency services in your area and finding out what most people only hear about on the news. These days, however, it’s possible to do the same thing online. You can even listen in on broadcasts from police forces all over the world. Interested? Here are a few fantastic resources that will enable you to stream live police scanner on the internet for free:

RadioReference.com – This site has been around for a long time and its listings confirm its status as one of the most comprehensive and complete resources for police, railroad, Fire, EMS and aircraft broadcasts. There are thousands of registered users and as a member you enjoy access to an active forum, which is particularly useful if you are just starting out and have a bunch of questions about how to best operate the online police scanners. You can also add your own broadcast contributions to the mix, involving you even further in the community. Most features are free but there is also a paid area that gives you access to a few additional features.

The DXZone.com – This Amateur Radio Resource Guide is also worth a visit, having loads of information on antennas, Ham radios, software and CB Radio. It of course also has an Internet police radio section for you to find a station to listen to for free. It’s great if you are an absolute novice and are looking for information about the hobby in general as well.

Broadcastify.com – Claims to be the largest source of aircraft, rail, marine, and public safety radio streams. With over 3000 feeds available at absolutely no cost, it’s one of the top resources out there. It’s fantastic if you want to listen in on your local police department, but there is also plenty to choose from in terms of EMS and fire services.

It’s also constantly growing and the company adds new features all the time. You can now use the service on most smartphones, your iPad and any Android tablet. You will also soon be able to broadcast your own streams, making it a potentially very interactive community.

UStream – This website doesn’t specialize in police radio broadcasts, yet it can be a very valuable resource if you are looking to listen to your local police agency. UStream often offers streams that are not available with the other services, making it particularly powerful. The only caveat is that you will need to do a little research before finding the streams worth listening to. There are literally thousands of options out there, from sporting events to live education feeds, so you may have to ask around in forums or chat rooms to find the best police radio broadcasts.

Police Scanner Apps

5-0 Radio Police Scanner Lite – This is a fantastic little iPhone app that is constantly being updated; it has iPhone 5 support, is completely free, and you can listen to everything from live police to emergency services.

Police Scanner Free – Don’t have an iPhone? Not a problem. This Android version is another app that will give you everything you need to listen to police broadcasts fore free. You will get access to over 2’500 feeds in various countries and most of them work well on both WiFi and 3G. It even has a nifty feature where it automatically finds the closest broadcasts in your area.

So what are you waiting for?

This list is by no means definitive and there are plenty of others out there, meaning that if you have an interest in police scanners there is absolutely no excuse for not getting involved. So go visit one of these sites or download the apps and start listening in right now!

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