cell phone
cell phone by Samantha Celera, on Flickr - click for original

It is now easier for you to contact police across the West Midlands.

From today, Tuesday, 8 November, you can dial 101 to report non-emergencies.

The easy to remember number is to be used when reporting incidents which do not require an urgent response.

It costs 15 pence to call 101 – no matter what time of the day you call, whether you use a mobile, a pay phone or a landline, or how long you stay on the phone for – and it is available 24 hours a day. People’s calls will be redirected to the nearest force, no matter where they are in the country.

The 101 number should be used to report a crime or anti-social behaviour which does not need an emergency response. For example, it could be used to report a crime that has already happened, seek crime prevention advice or make police aware of local policing issues.

Head of Operational Support Command for West Mercia Police, Chief Superintendent Trevor Albutt said: “We hope that giving the public this memorable number will make it easier for people to report crime and also ease the pressure on the 999 system.

“Every day, we receive a number of inappropriate calls on 999 which stop or delay people with real emergencies getting through to us.”

The 101 service is part of a national programme to improve access to the police and will go live today in areas covered by West Midlands, West Mercia, Warwickshire and Staffordshire forces. The number has already been launched across southern England and parts of Wales and is set to be rolled out nationally by early next year.

In an emergency, members of the public should continue to use 999. Local policing Superintendent for West Midlands Police Andrew Shipman said: “We would remind the public that they should always continue to call 999 in an emergency – for example, when an immediate response is needed because a crime is happening, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, or someone is injured, being threatened or in danger.”

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, you can access the service via textphone on 18001 101 (18000 in an emergency).

Existing numbers – West Midlands 0300 333 3000 & West Mercia 0345 113 5000 – will continue to operate as a general switchboard number which should be used to speak to a particular person or department.

Comments: