101 campaign launched
Norfolk Constabulary is supporting a Home Office campaign reminding the public that they should call 101 if they need to contact their local police for non-emergency issues.
More than three quarters of 999 calls received by the police are for non-emergencies, such as people reporting crimes that are no longer in progress (for example discovering that their home has been burgled or their vehicle has been stolen), or wanting to discuss anti-social behaviour in their local area.
The constabulary is sharing the messages within the campaign, to remind the public that they should call 101 to speak to the police when there isn’t a crime in progress or risk of violence or to life.
"I cannot stress how important it is that members of the public use the correct number to contact police"
101 is an easy-to-remember number for the public to call the police, and is designed to reduce the number of non-emergency 999 calls. This allows the police to respond more quickly to genuine emergencies, such as when someone is in immediate danger, a crime is happening right now, or a suspect for a serious crime is nearby.
Launched in 2012, it now covers all police forces across the UK and has replaced individual forces’ local numbers. A call to 101 costs just 15 pence no matter how long your call is. Not only is this cheaper than some forces’ local numbers, the single rate for every call means you know exactly how much your call will cost.
In addition to reminding members of the public to use the 101 number instead of 999 for non-emergencies, Norfolk Constabulary would also like to stress that 101 should still only be used for police matters.
Many people call 101 to report matters that are not for the police to deal with and should have been directed to other agencies. Many of these are matters that should be reported to local authorities to deal with such as: highways issues (e.g. road signs, potholes, street lighting & traffic lights); noise nuisances; and lost/found dogs.
Superintendent Malcolm Cooke, lead for the Contact and Control Room, said: “I cannot stress how important it is that members of the public use the correct number to contact police, as we still receive calls to 999 that are not emergencies.
“These misplaced calls could potentially delay us in responding to genuine emergencies, where officers might have been able to halt a crime in progress or assist where lives are at risk.”
Members of the public are also reminded not to confuse 101 with the NHS non-emergency number 111.
Who do I call?
Examples calls and which number to contact are detailed below:
Call example #007
Call: “I was assaulted last night”
Answer: Call 101 and we can arrange for an officer to make contact with you
Call example #006
Call: “The road into my village has potholes and damaged signage”
Answer: Call the county council Highways Department
Call example #005
Call: “I have found a lost dog”
Answer: Call the dog warden at the local council
Call example #004
Call: “I have a problem with a noisy neighbour”
Answer: Call the Environmental Health department at your local council
Call example #003
Call: “I have gone out to my driveway this morning and my car has been stolen.”
Answer: Call 101 as this is a crime that has already occurred
Call example #002
Call: “There is a group of people fighting in my street”
Answer: Call 999, this is a crime in progress
Call example #001
Call: “I have just heard a window smash and think I can see someone inside my neighbour’s house.”
Answer: Call 999 – this may be a burglary in progress