A new non-emergency telephone number to contact Surrey Police came into effect from 1 September, providing a new way for people to get in touch about issues that do not need an emergency response.
The new 101 number is going live as part of a national drive to make it easier to contact the police and report crime and disorder. While 999 is a well recognised number to report emergencies, the 2010 British Crime Survey found that only 54% 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.
Not only does the new number give the public one easy and memorable way to contact the Force and report non-emergencies but, for most people it is significantly cheaper than the 0845 number it replaces. It costs 15p to call 101 for the entire length of the call, no matter how long it takes or what time of day it is. This applies to both landlines and mobile phones, while calls from telephone boxes are free.
The geographic number – 01483 571212 – will remain for customers who may be unable to use the 101 service (for example, those calling from abroad).
As well as making the police more accessible to communities, it is hoped that 101 will reduce the number of inappropriate 999 calls, allowing the Force to respond to emergencies more effectively.
Superintendent Sue Lampard said: “On average, the Surrey Police Contact Centre receives 361 999 calls a day but only about 19% of those require an emergency response from the police.
“999 should only be used 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.
“For all other matters such as reporting less urgent crime or disorder, contacting police with a general enquiry or speaking to an officer the public should contact Surrey Police on the new 101 number.”
You can also report minor crime online, or visit your local police station or the Surrey Police mobile unit. For more details visit www.surrey.police.uk.
Call 101 or 01483 571212 for all non-emergency policing matters.
Call 999 if you have a genuine emergency requiring the attendance of the police (eg a crime is in progress or someone is in immediate danger).
Call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you have information about crime and don't want to leave your name.