How many calls does the new 101 service which was launched by Lancashire Police in January?
We put a Freedom of Information request in for the first five months of operation and here’s what it shows:
January – 6,862 (8.14% of non-emergency calls)
February – 11,821 (14.31%)
March – 15,447 (15.57%)
April – 14,334 (16.44%)
May – 16,783 (17.81%)
The police class calls as emergency, i.e. made to 999 and non-emergency which are used for appeals and reporting isues in different areas.
The percentages revealed under the FOI request show the 101 service is slowly increasing its usage compared to older police numbers.
Historically the police have had numerous different numbers for non-emergency calls, but there is a nationwide change to bring in the 101 number.
A police spokeswoman said: “There is no target for 101, over time the old 0845 numbers will be phased out leaving the 101 number for non-emergency calls and 999 for emergency calls.”
The costs for bringing in the new number are being met by the Home Office.
Assistant chief constable Andy Cooke told Blog Preston back in December ahead of the launch the service would simplify how the police can be contacted.
He said: “Everyone knows to ring 999 in an emergency but research shows that only 54% of the public know how to contact their local police if they want to talk to them about less urgent issues.
“The introduction of an easy-to-remember, three-digit number should help address this. It should also help divert more non-urgent calls away from the 999 system, freeing up call handlers to deal with genuine emergencies.
He added: “101 makes it far simpler for people to contact their local police force’s non-emergency service, wherever they are in England and Wales. It will make it much easier for people to pass on information or seek advice from the police.”
We did request figures for the number of calls made to 101 from the Preston area but the police were unable to provide this.
Have you called the 101 service? How did you find it? Let us know in the comments below