Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Olly Martins is calling on the public to save the non-urgent police number ‘101’ into their new mobile phones to end unnecessary delays for genuine 999 callers.
“Lots of people receive plush new mobiles and smartphones for Christmas and either have to key in their contacts again or transfer lists. This is the perfect opportunity to add one more – the non-urgent 101 police number – so that there’s no confusion on which number to call in the future,” he said.
The non-urgent ‘101’ number was launched to ease pressure on emergency services by reducing the level of inappropriate 999 calls as well as making it easier for residents to contact the police.
‘101’ can be used to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response such as stolen cars, if you suspect drug dealing/taking, would like to speak to your local policing team or want to provide information about crime in your area.
“While you must always dial 999 in a genuine emergency, the reality is many people call the number unnecessarily for issues which can be followed up later that day or a few days later. This means somebody who requires an urgent police response might have to wait longer than necessary to receive help, the consequences of which could be devastating,” said Commissioner Martins.
“Many people still don’t know the ‘101’ number and what it means and hopefully by prompting people to store the number when they’ve just received a brand new phone from Santa will ensure it’s remembered and more importantly available when needed.
“I would also urge people to take all the precautions they can to protect their new phone against theft, including activating built-in tracker apps and utilising the free of charge immobilise.com service,” he said.