Wednesday, 9 September 2009

101 for when it's less urgent than 999

Contacting North Wales Police has never been easier. Simply dial 101 for all non emergency calls.

101 is the new, easy to remember, 24 hour police non emergency number for Wales and its introduction is the biggest change in the way people can contact the police since 999 was introduced in the 1940s.

101 was launched in April and up to the end of August, North Wales Police received nearly 11,000 calls on the new number. During the same period, 3,489 fewer 999 calls were received.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, Gareth Pritchard, said: "Many people dial 999 when their call isn't an emergency simply because they don't know how else to contact the police. 101 is an easy number to remember and it gives people access to all areas of the force. The response from the public locally has been excellent, with 101 helping to reduce the number of unnecessary or inappropriate 999 calls."

The figures for North Wales show that since 101 came on line, 999 calls have dropped on average by 8% each month.

The number is being advertised widely across Wales, and should be used to speak to the police about a general enquiry or to report a non emergency crime such as anti social behaviour, harassment or intimidation, drunken or rowdy behaviour, and dangerous driving.

Andy Edwards, Deputy Chief Constable for the All Wales Team, said: "Each police force in Wales is working hard to ensure the public can access their services in the way they want. Having just two phone numbers for the police in Wales makes calling the police a lot easier, 999 for an emergency, 101 when you need to speak to the police and don't need a blue light response.

"This project has been made possible as the four forces in Wales recognised an opportunity to provide a single service that would improve customer service and hopefully increase the confidence of the public that they can contact the police whenever they need them."

999 should still be used if there is a crime in progress; violence is being used or threatened; an offender has been recently disturbed or made off; there has been a road accident where people are injured or the road is blocked.


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