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17 October 2011, 11:15
In emergencies, you call 999 to get the police, but people in Northamptonshire can now dial 101 to contact them when it's something less urgent.
Northants is the latest place to adopt the non-emergency number 101 the government are rolling out across the country. It's already in use in places like Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and Cambridgeshire and Thames Valley Police are due to bring it in in November 2011.
The use of 101 nationally is designed to make it easier to contact the police and report crime and disorder. It can be used to report a crime that has already happened and any other incidents or concerns that are not emergencies.
You can also call it to speak to your local Safer Community Team or any other officer or member of police staff, to provide information about crime or criminals in your area, or to make a general enquiry.
Superintendent Mick Stamper, who manages Northamptonshire's Force Communications Centre, said "101 will give members of the public a single, easy to remember number to contact Northamptonshire Police, making it quicker and easier for them to get the service they need.
"The number is already in use in a number of police force areas and is being rolled out to the remaining areas on a phased basis over the next few months. We know from the experience of these initial areas that 101 is well received by the public and has led to improvements in public satisfaction and confidence when calling the police."
101 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls to 101 from landlines and mobiles cost 15 pence per call, whatever the time of day you call or length of call.
For anyone with hearing difficulties or a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18001 101.
Superintendent Stamper added "999 should still be used in an emergency, such as when a crime is happening, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, someone is injured, being threatened or a life is at risk, or there is a traffic incident involving personal injury or danger. However, we hope that, because 101 is much easier to remember, it will reduce the number of unnecessary 999 calls."
Northamptonshire Police's other number 03000 111 222 will remain available while 101 becomes established and for those calling from outside England and Wales, as well as for callers outside Northamptonshire where 101 is not yet live.