If it’s not an emergency, make sure that you dial 101

Hemel Hempstead Police Station.
Hemel Hempstead Police Station.

This month marked two years since the launch of the police non-emergency number 101.

It was introduced in July 2011 with the aim of improving the service on offer to callers and to bring in an easy to remember three digit number. Previously callers had to dial an 11 digit number, which ceased operating in April.

Since 101 was launched calls made to 999 regarding non-urgent issues have greatly reduced, which mean operators are free to deal with those who are in the midst of an ongoing emergency.

Every day in the Herts Police force communications room operators deal with on average 1,370 public 101 calls and 395 emergency 999 calls, although it is estimated that around 75 per cent of these do not necessitate an immediate response and the non-emergency number should have been used instead.

Police say the 999 number should be dialled when; someone is injured or at risk of being hurt, there is risk of serious damage to property, a crime is in progress, there is a serious incident or someone suspected of a crime is nearby.