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Posted 08/09/2011

GLOUCESTERSHIRE CONSTABULARY TO LAUNCH 101

Gloucestershire Constabulary will be joining the rest of the South West region with the introduction of 101 – the new national police non emergency telephone number. Our current non-emergency number 0845 090 1234 will be phased out. While 999 is a well recognised number to report emergencies, the 2010 British Crime Survey found that only 54% of the public knew which telephone number to call if they wanted to speak to their local police about policing, non urgent crime and anti-social behaviour issues.

The introduction of the 101 number will help communities to keep their neighbourhoods safe by giving them one easy way to speak directly with their local police to report and discuss all non urgent police related issues. This new number will not change the way we respond to non urgent calls or connect people to a large national call centre; infact it is hoped that fewer people will incorrectly call 999, holding up a response for someone who may really need it.

Calls will still be received by call handlers in our Contact Centre based at Waterwells, Quedgeley. The number is already in use in a number of areas across the country and will be rolled out across the rest of the UK by the end of this year. We know from these piloted areas that the 101 number is well received by the public and has led to improvements in public confidence when calling the police. Calls to 101 will cost 15p per call, irrespective of how long that call may last.

This cost applies to landlines and mobile phones. This will be the first time that everyone calling the non-emergency number will know exactly how much the call will cost and will be assured of equal access whether calling from a mobile or landline. Gloucestershire's 0845 number currently is zero cost for the Constabulary as customers dialling the number are charged a pence per minute rate for doing so. However this is a source of frequent complaints particularly as some mobile tariffs are particularly high when dialling 08 numbers.

Contd/. Gloucestershire Constabulary Headquarters No 1 Waterwells, Waterwells Drive, Quedgeley, Gloucester, GL2 2AN www.gloucestershire.police.uk

-2- From 19th September the Constabulary's text relay service for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired will also be changed to reflect the 101 number. The new number will be 18001 101. The Constabulary also continues to provide non emergency SMS text service which is free to register. Registration can be done online at www.gloucestershire.police.uk or by completing a leaflet which is in wide circulation. For further information please email sms@gloucestershire.police.uk, or call the SMS Registration Officer on 101 (via type talk), or ask someone to call on your behalf. In an emergency the public will still be able to continue to call 999, such as when a crime is in progress, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened. The 999 Emergency SMS text service also remains the same. To register text REGISTER to 999. You will receive a text describing the service. Please reply by texting YES. You will then receive a confirmation text and will be able to use the service by texting 999 in an emergency anywhere in the UK. We will endeavour to keep you informed as this change moves forward and will let you know any developments as they happen. More information can be found on www.gloucestershire.police.uk

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