Police praise public for number response

TAYSIDE Police’s force area has recorded the best public response for use of the new national non-emergency ‘phone number, launched last month.

Since the number went live on February 21, the force has received around 46 per cent of all non-emergency calls via the new 101 service and its success has been attributed to a combination of promoting the use of 101 at the front of old contact numbers and the subsequent decommissioning process which is now under way, as well as marketing and publicity.

Louise Fraser, force communications centre business manager, said: “This is excellent news and helps to show the potential of the new 101 service. Its introduction is saving money but most importantly it is easy to remember and use. I have been really impressed by the way people in Tayside have made the change”.

Ahead of the 101 launch, Tayside Police had started to decommission existing telephone lines to ensure that contact with the public has remained as seamless as possible and all callers are now being advised of the new 101 service.

The new number was introduced with the aim of helping keep people safe by giving them one easy-to-remember number for contacting the police, wherever they are in Scotland; making the police more accessible to communities, while reducing pressure on the 999 system; helping to cut crime by making it easier for the public to pass on information and enhancing links with England and Wales, with 101 becoming the nationally recognised number for non-emergency contact with the police across the UK.

Calls are still dealt with at a force area level and the number is operational 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week, although 999 is still the number to call in an emergency. Dialled from elsewhere in the country, callers are connected with the nearest police force.