13 March 2017
Make the right call
Bedfordshire Police is encouraging people to
make the right call as part of a new campaign aimed at raising
awareness of the non-emergency 101 number.
Every day people call 999 when 101 would have
been a better choice, potentially impacting on the time it takes
for those who are suffering genuine emergencies to get through to
the police control room.
The non-emergency 101 number should be used
for reporting any criminal incidents where the crime is not in
progress and there is no current risk to a person or property.
Calls to 101 cost 15p for the duration of the
Wayne Humberstone, Head of the Bedfordshire
Police Force Control Room, said: “It’s really important that the
public know how best to get in touch with the police. Any
non-emergency issues, such as stolen property or information about
a drug dealer, should be reported to us via our 101 number and we
can then provide the most appropriate response.
“If you need to get in touch with us but it is
not an emergency then I really would urge you to make the right
call and contact us on 101. By calling 999 in a non-emergency
situation you are potentially blocking a phone line that could be
needed by someone in a life-threatening situation.”
Last year the force took around 80,000 999
calls and 300,000 101 calls, in addition to other calls from other
emergency services colleagues and other agencies
You should call 101 if:
· You want to
report a crime that is not in progress
· You have
information about a crime such as a drug dealing
· You wish to speak
to a local police officer
999 should only be used in a genuine
emergency, for example if a serious crime is in progress or if
there is a threat to life.
101 quiz to find out if you know when to call 101 and when to
Find out more about the different ways to contact us.
Police and Crime Commissioner Kathryn Holloway said: "The 101
number was introduced nationally and, at first, there was a
publicity campaign around it. Sadly this didn't hit the mark in the
long term as at least a third of the audience in the public
meetings I address regularly are either totally unaware of the
service or don't know that it should be used for all but
life-threatening calls and those concerning a crime actually in
progress, such as a burglary, when 999 should always be used.
"I'm entirely aware that the 101 number can be
abused since there is a tendency for the police to be considered
the first port of call every time someone is discontented. I've
even been sitting in the Force Control Room when a call handler
received a complaint about the quality of a take-away!
"There're a lot of myths around 101 and its
effectiveness but I've used it to report crime concerns myself over
and over again since I came into this office and been answered in
only minutes and I can assure the public that the call handlers
don't know it's me calling until I get through."
Throughout the campaign the force will
be sharing examples of when to call 101 on social media and is
hosting a Twitterthon on Wednesday 15 March, living tweeting 101
calls coming in to the control room. You can join in the
Twitterthon by following Beds Police and using