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Hello, hello, hello - dial 101 for police in Norfolk, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire

16:00 10 October 2011

Norfolk police

Norfolk police's control room, at force HQ in Wymondham. A new number is being announced for people to contact officers with non-urgent calls.

Archant © 2009

Less than half of us know the number to call police, if we’re worried about something but it’s not an emergency.

When to ring 101

Police say the new number should be used to report issues which don’t require an emergency response. People should call 101 if their vehicle has been stolen, their property has been damaged, they suspect drug use or dealing, they want to give the police information about crime in their area, or would like to speak to a local police officer.

The new number is not for emergencies. In an emergency, police say you should always ring 999 for immediate assistance.

That includes situations where life is in danger, a serious offence is in progress, a suspect is at a scene, an alleged offender is identified at any location, there is imminent likelihood of violence/damage to a person’s property or there is a serious road accident.

Now forces across the country are launching a new number 101 - which senior officers hope will be as memorable as 999.

Norfolk and Suffolk constabularies will next week begin transferring over to the new number, from the current 0845 456 4567 number in Norfolk’s case and 01473 613500 for Suffolk.

Cambrideshire police hope to make the switch to 101 from the current 0345 456 4564 by the end of the month.

Kevin Wilkins, Norfolk’s Assistant Chief Constable, said: “Everyone knows to ring 999 in an emergency – but research shows that only half of the public know how to contact their local police if they want to talk to them about less urgent issues.

“The introduction of an easy-to-remember, three-digit number should help address this.

“By the end of the year, people will be able to use 101 to contact their local police force’s non-emergency service, wherever they are in England and Wales.

“It is also hoped that the introduction of 101 will help divert more non-urgent calls away from the 999 system, freeing up call handlers to deal with genuine emergencies.”

By January 2012, 101 will be the number for non-emergency calls to all forces across the UK.

All calls will cost 15p and special software will put the caller in touch with their nearest force, while those calling from a mobile phone in an area on the boundary of two forces will be offered a choice of which they wish to speak to.

The move is part of a Government drive to improve access to police and reduce pressure on the 999 number.

Only half of us know how to contact our local police, the 2010 British Crime Survey found.

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12 comments

  • I dialled 666 once and got a Policeman standing on his head!!

    Report this comment

    NchNthMan

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • I think a recorded message announces which police force the caller is being connected to and if they're on the boundary between forces it gives them the choice. If they want to speak to a totally different force they can speak to an operator who will connect them.

    Report this comment

    cls77

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • "Only half of us know how to contact our local police"----the other half are avoiding them. :o)

    Report this comment

    ggj666

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • Moan, moan, moan. Some people will never be satisfied. 15 pence - wow. Some people wouldn't think twice about spending 50p or £1 on voting for some plastic pop star wannabe on X Factor and yet they'll probably moan about this one-off cost to contact police. Do people actually call the police that many times? If you want to just pass on information call Crimestoppers for free. If you want to highlight a local issue you can email for free via the Norfolk Police web site, go to a local priority meeting etc. There are ways and means...

    Report this comment

    cls77

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • Not quite as romantic as a police box in the street though. And since this problem is partly generated by the use of mobile phones without easy access to a directory to find your local nick's number it seems reasonable we should have to pay. Mind you I hope people use it and don't just dial 999 instead.

    Report this comment

    Richard Woods

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • How very responsible of you Farquarson-Smythe Good to know that the community is safe with you around! It's only 15p for pitty sake

    Report this comment

    NorfolkLassie

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • They should also publicise that those with hearing difficulties or speech impediments can call the emergency services on their mobile phone by text message but they have to be registered which they can do by texting " register" to 999 and following the instructions.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • Great thinking at a time when the police keep spouting about being accessable to the public - - now let's charge them for talking to us - no thanks if I need to talk to them I will stick to 01953 424242 and if they disconect that number - I will just keep the info to my self - serving the community, joke !

    Report this comment

    Farquarson-Smythe

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • Why should those of us who pay for BT's inclusive call service, which includes 0845 numbers, pay 15p if we wish to make a non-urgent call to the police and what are they doing with the profit on calls? And is that a 15p flat rate or, if they keep us hanging on, will it be increased? Sounds like a rip-off to me.

    Report this comment

    Jane Scarfe

    Monday, October 10, 2011

  • Interesting concept. What is not explained is how, if every force has the same number and you can contact your local force wherever you are in England and Wales by dialing 101, does this mean there is a single call centre handling all 101 calls? If so, it would be interesting to see what, "musac," is played while you are in the queue. Or will it be a case a press one for this etc etc.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • People who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can textphone 18001 101 for non-emergency matters

    Report this comment

    cls77

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

  • Norfolk Lassie - Perhaps if you are not bothered about paying for the calls - you could contact the police for 15p and tell them that you would also like to pay for the fuel for when an officer calls to see you - But Seriously, The police is a publicly funded service paid for by tax payers money, Other forces have been challenged about the 0845 numbers which they use and have made them free again, but oh no not Norfolk. You may well think that 15p is not a lot of money, but there are many who do not have the financial security that you obviously have. After all anyone who has paid council tax has already paid their ever increasing contribution for the police service, this will just sever the connections with the people even further than it is all ready and drain a dwindling intelligence gathering opportunity once again.

    Report this comment

    Farquarson-Smythe

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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