101 is the new number to contact Avon and Somerset Police when it’s less urgent than 999, replacing the 0845 number. Launched in the South West today and across the rest of the country by the end of 2011, 101 will become the number to contact the police for non-emergencies.
It should be used for reporting a crime that does not need an urgent response, contacting a local officer, getting crime prevention advice, making an appointment with a police officer, telling us about local policing issues in your area, or any other non-emergency.
It is hoped that the introduction of a nationwide and simple number will reduce the number of calls to 999; currently approximately one in four 999 calls to Avon and Somerset Police are genuine emergencies and one in four calls are inappropriate. The rest are calls needing police assistance that could have been dealt with by the non-emergency number.
Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said: “We want our communities to be able to contact us quickly and easily when they need us. Using the correct number will help us respond to our calls in the most effective way. “999 is well-established as the number to call in an emergency but in the past every police force has had a different phone number for non-emergencies. The introduction of 101 will provide a simple and easy to remember number for the public to contact us and so enable us to provide a better service to the public.”
101 is just one of the many ways that the public can contact the police. Other ways include by email at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact or in person at Have Your Say meetings, beat surgeries and personal appointments.
Calls to 101 will cost 15p per call, irrespective of how long that call may last and applies to landlines and mobile phones. People who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired will be able to textphone 18001 101.