Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC), Katy Bourne has welcomed a national campaign reminding the public to call 101 for a police non-emergency response.
Launched in 2012, the 101 number is designed to reduce the number of non emergency 999 calls. This allows the police to respond more quickly to genuine emergencies, such as when someone is in immediate danger, a crime is happening right now, or a suspect for a serious crime is nearby.
The 101 number covers all police forces across the UK, replacing individual forces’ local numbers. A call to 101 costs 15 pence regardless of the duration.
“More than three quarters of 999 calls received by the police [nationally] are for non-emergencies”, Mrs Bourne said.
“To help the police tackle crime effectively, this campaign reminds the public to call 101 to speak to the police when there isn’t a crime in progress or an immediate risk of violence or harm. It also encourages the public to remind their family and friends of the service.
“Awareness of the 101 number in Sussex is something that my Elders’ Commission have been discussing with older residents as part of their county-wide ‘Big Conversation’. Members have found that many older people either haven’t heard of the number or they confuse it with other non emergency numbers. Some people have said they don’t want to bother the police with ‘minor’ problems.
“Some residents have told me that police call handling times is a concern, which is why this has been a recurring topic at my monthly Performance & Accountability Meetings with Sussex Police’s Chief Officer Team, and I will continue to monitor performance and public satisfaction in this area.
“Sussex Police has reviewed its response model and improvements have been made through more intelligent use of resources and better technical support. The new Resolution Centre, which is currently being phased in, is already showing promising signs of delivering a better service to non-emergency callers.
“The Home Office’s national campaign, which includes radio and digital advertising, highlights non-emergency situations when the public should dial 101. I hope this will help to improve residents’ awareness and understanding of the service and make them feel more confident about using it.”
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