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New non-emergency number 101 launches at Herts Police



101 non-emergency numberNew non-emergency number 101 has launched at Herts Police aimed at making calls to the service cheaper, easier and more efficient.


And to mark the launch, the Constabulary is releasing six new hoax and inappropriate calls to illustrate when to use both the non-emergency and 999 emergency services.


101 will gradually replace the current non-emergency number, 0845 33 00 222. However, the changeover will not happen immediately and ‘0845’ number is expected to be in place for approximately a year, running in tandem with 101 to ensure a smooth transition.


This is part of a countrywide Association of Chief Police Officers and Home Office-led initiative where all forces are due to adopt the number by December, in phases. Herts Police is in the first phase of forces to adopt 101.


Superintendent Rob Henry, who manages the Force Communications Room, said: “The Constabulary welcomes this new number as it means members of the public will soon be able to phone 101 wherever they are in England and Wales, and reach their local force.


“Gone will be the days of people being asked to ring long and often expensive 0845 or 0300 numbers. And it is hoped, because the number is easier to remember, that it will ease the burden on unnecessary 999 calls from people unable to remember the non-emergency one.”


101 will cost 15p for the duration of the call, whether made from a landline or mobile phone. However, for those whose current service plans give them free calls to 0845 numbers, it will still be possible to contact the Constabulary non-emergency service on landline number 01707 354000, which is also a free number on some phone packages.


If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, the textphone service 18001 101 is still available.


Welsh police forces and Hampshire Constabulary have already adopted 101 as part of a pilot phase.


Always ring 999 in an emergency. An emergency is where there is a crime in progress, or an immediate threat to life or property.


Rob added: “With a very modern communications room like ours, Hertfordshire Constabulary prides itself on providing an excellent service to the public. As part of this, we are pleased to be one of the very first forces to adopt this new number and better that service.


“We also wanted to reiterate our message around when to ring which of our two services by continuing our very successful hoax and inappropriate calls campaign as part of this launch.”


The non-emergency number is a 24/7 service which should be used for all police matters of a non-urgent nature. These include:

• If you want to give police information about a crime in the area.
• If you want to contact a local police officer (such as someone from your Safer Neighbourhood Team).
• If your property has been stolen or damaged and it is not a crime in progress.
• If you suspect drug use and dealing in your area.

The public should continue to call their district/borough council for things like:
• dumping and fly tipping; or
• nuisance noise.


The hoax and inappropriate calls Hertfordshire Constabulary is releasing, made to the 999 service, are as follows:

1) An inappropriate call from a man calling 999 to say he has fallen asleep on the train and missed his stop, so wants a lift home (URN 120 16/1/11).

2) A hoax call from a man saying there are people with knives and guns in St Albans and they were going to harm him. A police patrol car was passing at the time the man was making the call, from a public payphone and he was given an £80 fine (URN 80 of 25/3/11).

3) An inappropriate call from a woman stranded in South Mimms and wanting a lift home (URN 109 of 20/3/2011).

4) An inappropriate call from a man ringing 999 because he has no credit on his mobile phone and claims he has been told the 999 service can put him through (URN 524 of 8/1/11).

5) A hoax call from a man, who has made repeated hoax calls to 999, claiming he is ringing to spend his tax money (URN 27 of 8/1/11). He was warned that, if he continued to make hoax calls, his phone would be disconnected. He stopped making the calls.

6) A hoax call from a man reporting a robbery in Letchworth. He breaks off part way through laughing. Officers were unable to trace the man (URN 689 of 11/2/11).


A hoax call is where someone rings 999 for a deliberately malicious reason. An inappropriate call to 999 is where people ring the number in error, either because it turns out not to be a police matter or because it is a non-emergency matter.


To find out more, please go to the national information site A web page on the Hertfordshire Constabulary website is also due to be set up soon with more information.


The hoax calls are available at