But when the need arises, people expect to be able to do it quickly and without much fuss.
The last thing anyone would expect is to turn up at their local police station and find it closed for business. That's why it is hard to see the logic in the SNP Government's new plans to close 65 police station counters across the country, and cut the opening hours of many others.
That's on top of the more than 50 stations that have been closed down completely under this SNP government.
Ministers and the police claim the front offices are no longer being used by the public.
However, it's estimated that more than 200,000 people a year have walked through their doors to report a crime, make a witness statement or to speak to an officer for some other important matter.
This leaves us with the inescapable conclusion that this exercise is nothing but policing on the cheap.
Living almost next door to a police station, I see just how busy it is and I appreciate the fact that it's always there if something happens to me or I see something happening to others.
To have so many stations effectively close their doors to the public is a backwards step for local communities and part of a worrying trend of centralising public services in Edinburgh by the Scottish Government.
In Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, these proposals will mean only two police stations, Govan and Stewart Street, will remain open 24 hours a day.
The remaining offices will close their doors overnight or shut completely to the public.
In order to maintain high levels of trust between police officers and the public, officers need to be as accessible as possible, not hidden away behind shutters.
Last week, I challenged the First Minister on the issue of station closures in the Scottish Parliament.
Alex Salmond's response was that the public can report a crime simply by sending a Tweet or picking up the telephone.
This suggestion would be laughable if we were not dealing with such a serious issue.
It recently emerged that more than 15,000 calls to the new non-emergency 101 number went unanswered in the first four months of its operation, while Police Scotland's official Twitter page makes clear that it is "not for reporting crime".
What the First Minister has also failed to take into account is that for many people, especially the elderly and vulnerable, using the telephone or internet is simply not an option.
ALSO, people have been able to call police stations for years - but still 200,000 choose to go in because they want to speak to someone face-to-face.
Concerns have also been raised by business organisations, who are worried the move could sever links between police forces and local companies.
This is an ill-conceived plan, which will break the thin blue line between communities and the police.
The Scottish Conservatives have already called for the public to be given a say in the police consultation on front desk closures.
The SNP should think again before they wield the axe on our local police stations and my party will fight these proposals all the way to give people access to the local policing they deserve.