101 calls to police in Wiltshire and Hampshire now FREE

101 calls to police in Wiltshire and Hampshire now FREE

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 8:27am 1st April 2020. (Updated at 11:09am 1st April 2020)

3 minute read

The Home Office has announced that the charge for calling the police non-emergency number has been scrapped.

Callers to the 101 non-emergency number are currently connected to their local police force, or a force of their choice, and until today (1st April) were charged 15p a time.

The Home Office will now cover the £7m a year to fund the service across the UK.

Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner ,Angus Macpherson, has welcomed the news:

"Reporting crime, passing on intelligence or ringing for an update should not cost callers 15p, and this is good news for victims and the people of Wiltshire."

"The police are currently working in unchartered territory, having to engage with the public in different ways and it's important to me that the police are as accessible as possible and today's announcement is a really positive step forward".

Older People on Phone
Calls to 101 are now free.

The vast majority of callers will be able to use 101  free of charge although from April 1 to July 1 there remains a chance that users of small operators will be charged for using the 101 service. 

The Home Office is urging those providers to refund their customers.

PLEA TO USE 101 WISELY

Mr Macpherson has urged people to "to only call 101 when absolutely necessary, to report a crime/ incident, request an update or make a complaint."

He's also stressed the force are currently facing a high level of calls regarding the current Government restrictions in place. 

"You should always call 999 if a crime is in progress or in an emergency."

"Many crimes can also now be reported on the Force's website and there is also the option to raise concerns that people are not adhering to the restrictions set out by the Government online."

report crime online Wiltshire

Here's the link to report report crime via the Wiltshire Police website.

IMPROVEMENTS

Over the past two years, significant investment has gone into improving the performance of Wiltshire Police's crime and communications centre after concerns about its performance.

The time is takes to answer a 101 call has also improved from just over 5 minutes in 2017 to 1.20 minutes at the end of 2019.

Wiltshire Police is currently recruiting for more call handlers for the force: 

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