People Urged To Stop Misusing Dorset Police 101 Number
27 July 2016, 08:27
Dorset Police is asking people to stop wasting their time with unnecessary calls to their non-emergency number.
Police say 101's being misused for things like ordering taxis, asking for directions and even reporting a bad haircut. They also say the number's being phoned for a lot of issues which are for councils to deal with.
They're asking people not to waste their time and consider using their website instead.
Police have started a campaign focusing on 'education around the correct use of the number, promotion of the other contact methods available as an alternative for reporting non-urgent matters and guidance around what community issues our partner agencies deal with.'
A statement said: 'The new Dorset Police website was launched in June 2016 with a host of new services to get in touch with the Force online.
'The 'Do It Online' section of the site offers various online reporting and enquiry tools that enable a quicker and easier alternative to calling 101. It can be found on the front page of the website www.dorset.police.uk.'
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: "As part of the Your Dorset, Your Police, Your View project last year, 82 per cent of local people said they wanted to be able to report non-urgent crimes on the website and 60 per cent wanted to engage with their Neighbourhood Policing Team online.
"The introduction of the new Dorset Police website is a real step forward in modernising how the public can interact with the police. We now need to work with the public to ensure only policing matters are reported, and in turn, we will continue to monitor how the telephone and online 101 reports are being dealt with to ensure the pubic receive an efficient service."
Dorset Police receive over 1,300 calls to 101 and over 200 emergency calls to 999 every day. They say these levels increase in the summer months, and therefore 'the demands on call handlers is considerable'.
Superintendent Caroline Naughton, Contact Management at Dorset Police, said: "We are working hard to ensure we offer the very best service to our public, but the only way we will achieve this is with your help.
"Please ensure you are contacting the most appropriate agency to assist you with your enquiry. Do you need help from the police?
"A lot of our time is wasted dealing with misdirected or inappropriate calls from members of the public. Some examples of these calls include calling for a taxi, asking for directions, reporting issues with sea gulls and wanting to report a hairdresser for a bad haircut. These are the types of calls that increase the waiting time for genuine callers who need our help."