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Dorset Police ask you to think before you call 101

26 July 2016
Dorset Police need your help to improve the 101 service. Please, think before calling. If you have something to report, which isn't happening now, consider using the Do It Online service on the website. This may be a suspicious incident or something that you know to be a crime. 

If you are calling 101, ensure you are calling the correct agency for your enquiry and that your enquiry is a police matter. Don’t waste your time and valuable police time by calling us incorrectly.

This years campaign will focus on education around the correct use of the number, promotion of the other contact methods available as an alternative for reporting non-urgent matters and guidance around what community issues our partner agencies deal with.

The new Dorset Police website was launched in June 2016 with a host of new services to get in touch with the Force online.

The ‘Do It Online’ section of the site offers various online reporting and enquiry tools that enable a quicker and easier alternative to calling 101. It can be found on the front page of the website www.dorset.police.uk. 

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, Martyn Underhill, said: “As part of the Your Dorset, Your Police, Your View project last year, 82 per cent of local people said they wanted to be able to report non-urgent crimes on the website and 60 per cent wanted to engage with their Neighbourhood Policing Team online. 

“The introduction of the new Dorset Police website is a real step forward in modernising how the public can interact with the police. We now need to work with the public to ensure only policing matters are reported, and in turn, we will continue to monitor how the telephone and online 101 reports are being dealt with to ensure the pubic receive an efficient service.” 

Dorset Police receives over 1300 calls to 101 and over 200 emergency calls to 999 every day. These levels increase in the summer months, and therefore the demands on call handlers is considerable. 

Unfortunately we continue to receive calls from the public which are for other agencies or not an appropriate call for the police. 

Some calls received are concerning issues that are believed to be dealt with by the police, but are actually subjects for your local council to act upon. Matters such as:

Roads and transport 
• Report a road issue
• Live travel alerts
• Parking issues
• Driveway obstructions

Recycling and rubbish
• Bin collections
• Recycling
• Litter
• Dog fouling

Planning and housing
• Street lighting

Leisure and culture
• Parks

Environmental Health
• Noise complaints including parties 
• Pest control
• Lost/found animals
• Fly tipping
• Bonfires and fireworks
• Trading standards

Superintendent Caroline Naughton, Contact Management at Dorset Police, said: “We are working hard to ensure we offer the very best service to our public, but the only way we will achieve this is with your help. 

“Please ensure you are contacting the most appropriate agency to assist you with your enquiry. Do you need help from the police?

“A lot of our time is wasted dealing with misdirected or inappropriate calls from members of the public. Some examples of these calls include calling for a taxi, asking for directions, reporting issues with sea gulls and wanting to report a hairdresser for a bad haircut. These are the types of calls that increase the waiting time for genuine callers who need our help.” 

Remember, Dorset Police are always there to help in an emergency. If a crime is in progress or life in danger, always dial 999. For genuine enquiries please go to our website www.dorset.police.uk and use the Do It Online service, or dial 101. 

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