101 - The police non-emergency number

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101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland - when it's less urgent than a 999 call.

When should I use 101?

You should call 101 to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency response. For example, if:

  • Your car has been stolen
  • Your property has been damaged
  • You suspect drug use or dealing in your neighbourhood

Or to:

  • Give the police information about crime in your area
  • Speak to the police about a general enquiry

You should always call 999 when it is an emergency, such as when a crime is in progress, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, when there is danger to life or when violence is being used or threatened.

What about nuisance or environmental issues?

You should continue to contact your local council about general issues in your area like:

  • Dog fouling
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Dumping and fly tipping
  • Vandalism of public property

For information about how to contact your local council please visit www.gov.uk/find-your-local-council.

Where is 101 available?

101 is only available if you are calling from within England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

If you need to contact a police force whilst you are abroad, please use the list of non-emergency numbers.

How much does it cost to call 101?

Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone.

The 15p cost of the call goes to the telephony providers to cover the cost of carrying the calls. The police and government receive no money from calls to 101.

Who will answer my 101 call?

When you call 101, the system will determine your location and connect you to the police force covering that area. You will hear a recorded message announcing the police force you are being connected to. The recorded message will then give you a choice of which force to be connected to.

Calls to 101 are answered by police officers and staff in the control room of the local police force. This ensures that staff with local knowledge can answer and deal with the calls and respond appropriately.

I am deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, can I use 101?

Yes, you can textphone 18001 101.

What if English is not my first language?

Your local police have access to professional interpreters so they can arrange to translate your call if you have difficulty speaking English.

What should I do if the 101 number is blocked on the phone at my workplace / college / business premises?

As 101 is a relatively new number, some business phone systems and switchboards may not yet be programmed to recognise it. Please contact the person who administers your phone system to request that access is opened to the 101 number.

In the meantime, you can contact the police using one of the non-emergency numbers.

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