Wiltshire Police call on public to dial 101
Wiltshire Police are reminding people of the benefits of the non-emergency 101 number – a year on from its launch.
The 24-hour service was introduced in the region on September 19, 2011, before going live across England and Wales earlier this year.
It was introduced after the 2010 British Crime Survey found that while most people knew to dial 999 in emergencies, only half of the public were aware of which number to call about non-urgent crime, anti-social behaviour and general policing.
The service replaced the old 0845 number for non-emergencies.
Callers hear a recorded message telling them they are being connected to their local police force. There is also the option to speak to a neighbouring force if a caller is on a boundary between two or more police areas.
If none of the choices are selected then, after a pause, the system provides the option to be put through to a national operator, who can transfer the call to any chosen force.
This means that if calling from outside Wiltshire, they can still speak to their local home force, or if they are calling about an incident that took place in another force area, they can choose to speak to the relevant force.
With 101 a flat rate of 15p is charged whether the call is from a landline or mobile, irrespective of how long a call lasts.
A person with a hearing or speech impairment can use the non-emergency textphone number 18001 101.
John Flynn, deputy head of contact management at Wiltshire Police, said: “The introduction of the 101 number has not changed the way the police respond to non-urgent calls.
“We are still getting quite a lot calls on 0845 and we are trying to educate the public that this new number is there to contact the police for non-emergency matters.
“The 0845 will be switched off on October 1 with a recorded message advising callers it is no longer in use.”
However, 101 has not led to any noticeable reduction in the amount of 999 calls.
Mr Flynn said: “There was always the scenario it would reduce the amount of 999 calls but there hasn’t been any remarkable change.”
For more information, visit www.wiltshire.police.uk