Police open new non-emergency number

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LANCASHIRE Constabulary has joined the rest of the region and introduced a new telephone number for people who want to talk to the police about non-urgent issues.

From now on, 101 will be the number to ring to report non-emergency crimes or incidents, to discuss anti-social behaviour or speak to the police about a general inquiry.

101 will replace the current non emergency number 0845 1 253545.

The introduction of the new number in Lancashire is part of a nationwide initiative which will see all forces adopting 101 by the end of the year.

101 will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offer one easy way to contact the police.

A recorded message announces which police force the caller is being connected to - and gives them a choice if they are on a boundary between two or more forces.

Police call handlers in the local force contact centre will then answer the call and respond appropriately - just as they did with the old non-emergency number.

Calls from landlines and mobile networks cost 15p per call, no matter what time of day or the duration of the call.

People who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired can textphone 18001 101.

Lancashire Assistant Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “Everyone knows to ring 999 in an emergency but research shows only 54% 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. It should also help divert more non-urgent calls away from the 999 system, freeing up call handlers to deal with genuine emergencies.”

He added: “101 makes it far simpler for people to contact their local police force’s non-emergency service, wherever they are in England and Wales. It will make it much easier for people to pass on information or seek advice from the police.”