FAQs about 101

What is 101?

Why is 101 being introduced?

When will 101 be available in South Yorkshire?

When should I call 101?

What will happen when I call 101?

Why should I call 101?

Has 101 been previously available in South Yorkshire?

How is this different to the original 101 programme?

I live in Sheffield, will my 101 service change?

I live in Barnsley, Doncaster or Rotherham, can I report council issues through 101?

Where will my call be answered?

How much does it cost to call 101?

Why is the cost to call 101 from existing 101 areas like Sheffield increasing?

Why are calls to 101 not free of charge like 999?

If people have to pay 15 pence to call 101, will they not just call 999 instead because it is free?

Is 101 going to replace 999?

How many calls does South Yorkshire Police get?

How many emergency calls does South Yorkshire Police get?

How many inappropriate 999 calls does South Yorkshire Police get?

Are calls to 101 answered by the police?

What happens if you call 101 and in an emergency situation?

Is 101 available outside of South Yorkshire?

What happens if I want to call South Yorkshire Police and I am in another part of the country?

At a time of public sector budget reductions, why is a new telephone service being introduced?

Who is paying for 101?

What will happen to the previous number, 0114 2202020?

I want to speak to the policing team in my area, what number should I call?

I don't want to report a crime, I want crime prevention advice what number should I call?

I have a general enquiry, what number should I call?

I am deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, can I call 101?

English is not my first language, can I still call 101?

What is the difference between dialing the emergency and the non-emergency number?

When I call the police will an officer be sent immediately?

How are calls graded?

Who will handle my call?

Why is my call answered in Sheffield when I am calling from Barnsley, Doncaster or Rotherham?

How are hoax calls dealt with?

What is 101?

101 is the number to call when you want to contact South Yorkshire Police for non-emergency matters – when it is less urgent than 999.

From 4 November 2011, 101 replaces the 0114 2202020 number and is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Calls to 101 from landlines or mobile phones cost 15 pence, regardless of the length of time you are on the phone.

Why is 101 being introduced?

101 is the new number to call to contact South Yorkshire Police. It is being rolled out by the Home Office across England and Wales with the support of all 43 police forces. 101 will:
• Help communities keep their neighbourhoods safe by giving them one easy way to contact their local police force to report crime and other concerns that do not require an emergency police response;
• Make the police more accessible to their communities while reducing pressure on the 999 system and helping them to identify and allocate resources where they are needed the most;
• Assist the police to cut crime by making it easier for the public to pass on information about crimes in their neighbourhoods and allowing the police to take swift action; and
• Over time, enable partners to join up with the police to provide communities with even easier access to a wider range if local services.

When will 101 be available in South Yorkshire?

From 4 November 2011 South Yorkshire residents will be able to contact South Yorkshire Police on the 101 number.

When should I call 101?

When it is less urgent than 999; for general enquiries, to contact local police or to report a crime that has already happened you should always call 101. Crimes and issues such as the following should always be reported by calling 101:
• Stolen car
• Vandalised property
• Suspicion of someone selling stolen goods
• Suspicion of local drug dealing
• Stolen mobile phone
• Antisocial behaviour
• Minor road traffic collisions

When a life is at risk or there is a crime in progress always call 999.

What will happen when I call 101?

From 4 November if you call 101 from within South Yorkshire, you will hear an automated message stating that your call is being put through to South Yorkshire Police. If you require South Yorkshire Police, do nothing and your call will be answered by one of South Yorkshire Police’s dedicated and specially trained police staff call handlers.          

All South Yorkshire Police call handlers are trained to deal with both emergency and non-emergency calls. Your call through to 101 will be dealt with by the same person that would deal with your 999 call.

Why should I call 101?

Using 101 for situations that do not require an immediate police response helps keep 999 available for when there is an emergency. If a crime is taking place, or somebody is in immediate danger, always call 999.

Was 101 previously been available in South Yorkshire?

Yes, 101 has been available in Sheffield since 2006. Sheffield is one of a number of areas including Hampshire, Leicestershire and the Welsh forces that already had access to 101. Since 2006, South Yorkshire Police has provided the 101 number in partnership with Sheffield City Council allowing Sheffield residents to report police non-emergency incidents and council issues through the single number. If you live in Sheffield you will continue to be able to report council issues as well as police non-emergency incidents through 101.

How is this different to the original 101 programme?

The original 101 programme piloted the introduction of 101 as a partnership between police forces and local councils. The 101 number is now a national police non-emergency number which connects callers directly to their local police force, who understand local needs and priorities. Over time, and subject to local agreement, police forces could choose to work with their local partners to offer access to a broader range of local services, as is currently provided in Sheffield.

I live in Sheffield, will my 101 service change?

No, if you live in Sheffield you will not see any change to your 101 service. Previously Sheffield residents could report police non-emergency incidents by calling either 0114 2202020 or 101, now all non-emergency incidents should be reported through 101.

I live in Barnsley, Doncaster or Rotherham, can I report council issues through 101?

No, not at this stage. Only Sheffield residents can report council issues through 101.

Where will my call be answered?

Every call to South Yorkshire Police is answered in our dedicated contact management centre in Sheffield.

How much does it cost to call 101?

Calls to 101 from landlines and mobiles cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long the call lasts.

Why is the cost to call 101 from existing 101 areas like Sheffield increasing?

The original tariff was set for the pilot 101 programme in 2006 and as the 101 number is now being introduced nationally it has been necessary to increase the cost to the caller to ensure that the service remains financially sustainable.  The Home Office has worked hard to deliver a solution that is cost-effective for the public, police forces and Government.  Police forces receive no money from calls to 101.

Why are calls to 101 not free of charge like 999?

101 is a service made available to members of the public to be used in situations that do not require an immediate police response. As such, it is appropriate that a contribution is made to the cost of providing this service. The police service has always charged for non-emergency related calls and the introduction of the national 101 number allows for this cost to be standardised across the country. The Home Office have negotiated a competitive price for this service, and in many force areas the 15 pence per call charge replaces previous higher charges. 101 is not a profit making telephone number.

If people have to pay 15 pence to call 101, will they not just call 999 instead because it is free?

We acknowledge that there will always be a risk that people will use the 999 system inappropriately rather than pay 15 pence to call 101, for example if they do not have enough credit on their mobile phone. We will continue to raise awareness of the consequences of inappropriate use of 999 in order to limit this. Where the 999 system is being abused we will seek to take appropriate action that can include having your phone disconnected.

Is 101 going to replace 999?

No, 101 is the number to use to contact South Yorkshire Police in situations that do not require an immediate police response. 999 will continue to be the number that you need to dial when you need to report an emergency. An emergency is when a crime is happening, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, someone is injured, being threatened or in danger.

How many calls does South Yorkshire Police get?

South Yorkshire Police on average receive approximately 1.2 million calls every year.

How many emergency calls does South Yorkshire Police get?

Over 200,000 of the 1.2million calls received every year are emergency 999 calls which require an immediate police response.

How many inappropriate 999 calls does South Yorkshire Police get?

Approximately a third of 999 calls are not genuine emergencies. Some of these are malicious or hoax calls but the vast majority of these are from genuine callers who should have used the non-emergency number.

Are calls to 101 answered by the police?

Yes, all calls to 101are answered by police operators. All calls are recorded for training,  development, evidential and public safety reasons.

What happens if you call 101 and in an emergency situation?

Firstly, your call will be triaged by our switchboard operators - if you are calling regarding an emergency you will be put straight through to one of our call handlers. All of South Yorkshire Police’s call handlers are trained to deal with both emergency and non-emergency calls. If you call 101 to report an incident that requires an emergency response, your call will be graded as an emergency and receive the appropriate response.

Always call 999 in an emergency. For example, this is when you need an immediate response because a crime is happening; someone suspected of a crime is nearby or someone is injured, being threatened or in danger.

Is 101 available outside of South Yorkshire?

101 is already available in other parts of the country. By the end of January 2012 all 43 police forces in England and Wales will be using 101 as their non-emergency number. For more information about 101 nationally please visit the national 101 website. (LINK works OK)
 
What happens if I want to call South Yorkshire Police and I am in another part of the country?

From 4 November you can call 101 from elsewhere in the UK if you want to contact South Yorkshire Police. When you call 101 you will hear an automated message stating that your call is being put through to the local force from where you are calling from, you will also be given the option to press a button if you do not want this force. You will then be offered the surrounding forces as options, if none of these are South Yorkshire you can speak to an operator who will ask you which force you require. If you state South Yorkshire you will be transferred to a South Yorkshire Police call handler.

At a time of public sector budget reductions, why is a new telephone service being introduced?

101 has been introduced to provide members of the public with improved access to police non-emergency services. It is hoped that the availability of an easy to remember number for members of the public to call in situations that do not require an immediate police response, will in time reduce the pressure on the 999 emergency system, helping us to identify and allocate resources where they are needed the most.

Who is paying for 101?

The national 101telephony infrastructure is funded by the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government. 101is not a profit making telephone number.

What will happen to the previous number, 0114 2202020?

Once 101 has been established through public usage, the current 0114 2202020 telephone number will be phased out by South Yorkshire Police.

I want to speak to the policing team in my area, what number should I call?

Visit our neighbourhood policing website (LINK needs resetting for new site) and enter your postcode. You will then be able see the direct number for your local policing team.

You should contact your safer neighbourhood team to report community issues and get crime prevention advice.

No matter how small you think your issue is, your local team will get back to you within 72 hours (national guideline).

I don't want to report a crime, I want crime prevention advice what number should I call?

You should contact your local safer neighbourhood team. Visit our neighbourhood policing website (LINK needs resetting for new site) and enter your postcode. You will then be able see the direct number for your local policing team.

You should contact your safer neighbourhood team to report community issues and get crime prevention advice.

No matter how small you think your issue is, your local team will get back to you within 72 hours (national guideline).

I have a general enquiry, what number should I call?

For general enquiries, you should call 101. If you know the extension you require, please enter it when prompted.

I am deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, can I call 101?

If you are Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 0114 252 3294 or SMS on 07786 220 022.

English is not my first language, can I still call 101?

Our police operators have access to professional interpreters who can quickly translate your call if you cannot, or have difficulty, speaking English.

What is the difference between dialing the emergency and non-emergency number?

You should only dial 999 when there is an immediate danger to life or if you see a crime taking place.

101, should be used to report non-urgent matters such as antisocial behaviour or for any other general enquiry.

Please note, if your call is not urgent it might be dealt with more effectively if you call within office hours (before 4pm), as the evenings are the busiest time for our call centre staff.

When I call the police will an officer be sent immediately?

Before any officers are deployed, call handlers will assess the nature of the call and grade its priority. If the call is an emergency an officer will be sent straight away. If it is not an emergency, an officer will be sent accordingly.

How are calls graded?

An emergency call will result in an immediate emergency police response when:
• a serious offence is being committed or there is danger to life
• a suspect who is violent or likely to escape is nearby
• a serious road traffic collision involving personal or potential injury
• a racially or homophobic motivated incident is in progress
• evidence of a serious incident may be lost without immediate attendance
• the victim is in extreme distress.

By using a national framework for call handlers we are able to deal with other non- urgent calls and so are able to assess if the matter needs to be dealt with by officers within the hour or by a scheduled polices response within 24 hours. On occasion,  the incident can be resolved over the phone by our staff without officers being deployed.

Who will handle my call?

South Yorkshire Police receive approximately 1.2 million phone calls every year. Over 200,000 of these are emergency 999 calls which require an immediate police response.

All calls made to South Yorkshire Police are answered by police staff at our contact management centre in Sheffield.

All of our call handlers receive over three months training and all have excellent local knowledge. They use state-of-the-art technology to help deal with your call as effectively as possible.

Why is my call answered in Sheffield when I am calling from Barnsley, Doncaster or Rotherham?

The contact management centre is in Sheffield but handles calls for all South Yorkshire areas.

How are hoax calls dealt with?

Sadly, South Yorkshire Police does receive hoax calls. Not only do these calls put lives at risk but they are also illegal. If you are caught your phone’s SIM card might be disabled and you could be subject to criminal proceedings.