Police 101

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Law enforcement
in the United Kingdom
Types of agency
Types of agent
Statutory Instruments

'101' is the Single Non-Emergency Number in the United Kingdom. It automatically connects the caller to their local police force, in a similar system to the 999 emergency number.[1][2]


Promotional identity of the scheme

The 101 service is for reporting minor and non-emergency crimes where immediate or high-priority response is not required, such as:

  • To report theft of a vehicle
  • To report damage to property
  • To report suspected drug use or dealing
  • To report minor traffic accidents
  • To give the police information about crime
  • To speak to the police about a general enquiry

When the number is dialled the caller is offered to be put through to their local force worked out by where they are calling from. The caller may press # if they wish to be put through to an alternative force.[3]

The emergency number 112 or 999 should be called when:

  • A crime is in progress
  • Someone suspected of a crime is nearby
  • There is danger to life
  • Violence is being used or threatened

A 101 call may be transferred to the 112/999 facilities if it is deemed to be an emergency.

All police forces maintain dedicated individual phone numbers for those who are unable to call the 101 number or need to contact a non-local force.[4]


Previously the police forces all had individual local phone numbers; the system made all police forces non-emergency number 101.

A pilot 101 system with joint Police and local authority call centres began in 2006.[5][6] First introduced in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight for £3.3 million, the service was later extended Cardiff, Sheffield, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear and Leicester City and Rutland.[6][7][8][9]

The planned nationwide roll-out of the original service never took place and the trial itself was withdrawn from several areas after the withdrawal of Home Office funding.[10][11] In 2009, the number was instead adopted as a straightforward non-emergency number by the four police forces in Wales, with the local authority element dropped.

The number was then was rolled out across all English police forces between 2011 and 2012,[12] and extended to Scotland in April 2013.[13] The Police Service of Northern Ireland followed suit by adopting the 101 number on 24 March 2014.[14]

Cost of calls[edit]

The service costs a premium rate fixed fee charge of 15p per call from landlines and mobiles.[1] Vodafone UK has been chosen as the single supplier for the 101 service.


Similar projects such as the Missing People 116000 number; the NSPCC 116111 number; and The Samaritans 116123 number[15] are all part of the European Unions Harmonised service of social value commission, who assign simple telephone numbers to freephone helplines of organisations who help citizens in need.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]