England

New police 101 phone number introduced

Det Ch Con Tim Madgwick
Image caption In an emergency the public should continue to dial 999

Five police forces across the north of England have introduced a new number for non-emergency calls.

The number, 101, is designed to cut the number of 999 calls and allow people to report minor crime and anti-social behaviour.

It is being introduced by North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham and Northumbria police forces.

The government wants all police forces in England and Wales to have a 101 line by the end of March 2012.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "101 is a memorable number which will make it easier for people to report non-emergency crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as contacting the local safer neighbourhood team.

"It is designed to make the police even more accessible to our communities while at the same time reducing pressure on the 999 system, meaning every caller receives the best possible service."

All 101 calls cost 15p, including from a mobile and regardless of the length of the call.

When using the number, the system will determine the caller's location and play a recorded message announcing the police force they are being connected to.

Police said in an emergency the public should continue to dial 999.

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