Launch of new police 101 non-emergency number
Launching across Scotland on 21st February 2013, the 101 non-emergency number will replace the vast range of existing police force non-emergency numbers, which will gradually be phased out.
The introduction of the 101 non-emergency number will give the people of Scotland a new way to contact the police, seek advice, speak to a local officer or to report a crime that does not need an emergency response, for example:
* car theft
* damage to property
* a minor traffic collision
* suspected drug use or dealing
* information about crime in their area
The 101 non-emergency number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It costs a flat rate of 15p per call and will connect the public to a police service centre in their local area. The number has already been launched successfully in England and Wales and is widely used.
The key reasons for introducing the 101 non-emergency number in Scotland are to:
* help keep people safe by giving them one easy-to-remember number for contacting the police, wherever they are in Scotland
* make the police more accessible, while reducing pressure on the 999 system
* help the police cut crime by making it easier for the public to pass on information
* support the creation of a more efficient and effective police service for the people of Scotland
* increase interoperability with England and Wales, with 101 becoming the nationally recognised non-emergency number for contacting the police across the UK
You should continue to call 999 in an emergency – when a crime is in progress, when someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when a life is in danger or when violence is being used or threatened.
1. What is 101?
101 is the new number to call to contact the police when it’s less urgent than 999. 101 replaces our (insert current non-emergency number(s) for your force) number and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. What should 101 be used for?
Members of the public can call 101 if they want to talk to a local police officer, get crime prevention advice, or report a crime that does not need an emergency response, for example:
* their car has been stolen
* their property has been damaged
* they suspect drug use or dealing
* they want to report a minor traffic collision, or
* they want to give the police information about crime in their area
3. Why is 101 being introduced?
101 is being launched to improve public access to the police by giving people across Scotland a single, easy-to-remember phone number for when it’s less urgent than 999.
4. How does 101 work?
When a member of the public calls 101, they will hear a recorded message announcing that they are being connected to their local police service centre. The system will determine the caller’s location and connect them to a call handler in the service centre for their local area. This ensures staff with local knowledge answer and deal with calls in a way that best meets the needs of their communities.
If a caller is on the boundary between Scotland and England they may be offered a choice of force to be connected to. If the system cannot locate where they are calling from, the caller will be connected by the operator to the appropriate service centre, where the call will be handled in the normal manner.
Calls to 101 will be prioritised in the same way as calls to existing non-emergency numbers.
5. If someone is deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or has a speech impairment, can they call 101?
Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech-impaired callers can access the service via TextRelay on 1 800 1 101.
6. If English is not someone’s first language, can they still call 101?
Service centre operators have access to professional interpreters who can quickly translate if the caller cannot speak, or has difficulty speaking, English.
7. How much does it cost to call 101?
Calls to 101 will cost 15p, no matter how long the call, what time of day it is made or whether it is from a landline or mobile phone.
8. Why is there a charge for calls to 101?
There has always been a cost associated with non-emergency calls. Introducing 101 allows this cost to be standardised across the country and in many cases the single, flat rate charge of 15p replaces previous higher charges. The police do not make any money from calls to 101.
9. Does 101 replace existing direct dial numbers?
101 does not replace existing direct dial numbers.
10. Does 101 replace 999?
No. 101 is the number to use to contact the police in situations that do not need an immediate response. 999 is still the number to call when an immediate response is needed – when a crime is in progress, when someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when a life is in danger or when violence is being used or threatened.
11. What happens if you call 101 but it is an emergency situation?
If you call 101 and it is deemed to be an emergency, or during the call your situation becomes an emergency, service centre staff are fully trained to deal with all emergency and non-emergency situations.
Always dial 999 when an immediate response is needed – when a crime is in progress, when someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when a life is in danger or when violence is being used or threatened.
12. Is 101 available outside of Scotland?
Yes, 101 is a national service that is also available across England and Wales.
13. What are the benefits of 101?
* 101 provides one easy-to-remember number to contact the police anywhere in Scotland
* For the first time there will be a single flat rate charge
* The cost of the call will be transparent to the public and, in many cases, cheaper than current non-emergency numbers
* 101 can potentially reduce pressure on the 999 system, allowing the police to prioritise the most urgent calls for help