Thousands use new police number

More than 14,000 people have called Derbyshire police’s new non-emergency number since it was launched last month.

Derbyshire police became the latest force to introduce the 101 number, which is being rolled out across the country.

It is part of a national drive to make it easier for people to contact police to report crime and disorder, with all forces using the number by the end of this year.

The number replaces the former 0345 123 3333 non-emergency number. During the first week of operation, 1,788 people used the number and this has gradually increased week-on-week. Now 14,848 people have dialled 101 in Derbyshire.

While 999 is a well recognised number to report emergencies, the 2010 British Crime Survey found that only 54 per cent of the public know how to contact their local police if they want to talk to them about local policing issues, crime or anti-social behaviour.

It is hoped that 101 will reduce the number of inappropriate 999 calls, allowing the force to respond to emergencies more effectively.

Assistant Chief Constable Dee Collins said: “It’s good to see that the message is getting out to residents than 101 is the new number to call.

“On Monday of this week alone, more than 700 people dialled 101 to speak to us. I would remind residents that they should only call 999 in a real emergency, that is when a crime is happening, when someone suspected of a crime is nearby or where someone is injured, being threatened or in danger. “

You should use 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response. These include a car being stolen, damaged property, suspected drug use or dealing, reporting a minor a minor traffic collision, giving the police information about crime in your are, to speak to your local officers, or general enquiries, like how to join the Special Constabulary or how to join a neighbourhood watch.