Dorset Police promote the correct use of 101

With the arrival of the holiday season, Dorset Police encourages the correct use of the 101 non-emergency line during the busiest time of the year.

Dorset Police receives, on average, 1300 non-emergency calls every day. Between July 2014 and March 2015, this totalled 306,298 calls, 65 percent of which were answered within 30 seconds.

With the high volume of daily calls the non-emergency 101 line receives, there will inevitably be occasions where callers are subject to a delay with their enquiry.

To help tackle these delays, after the initial contact where the call is prioritised by the call handler, callers are given the option to leave a message, request a call back or send the Force an email atenquiries@dorset.pnn.police.uk. Each of these options generates a quick response as calls and emails are closely monitored by officers in the Force Command Centre (FCC) which means that the public do not have to wait on the line.

With such a high demand it is important that the public only call the 101 non-emergency line for a matter that requires a non-urgent police response.

These will include, but are not limited to:

  • Your car or motorcycle has been stolen
  • Your property has been damaged
  • You want to give information about crime in your area

Examples of matters that will require a response from other authorities such as the local council and not the police are:

  • Dog fouling
  • Abandoned or badly parked vehicles
  • Dumping or fly tipping

As with every public service line, the 101 line is subject to misdirected, unnecessary or even nuisance calls. During this month alone, the following are real examples of calls the police have received:

  • A caller found a basket of kittens and a mother cat and wanted to know what to do
  • A caller reported they had dropped their phone out of the car window

Callers have asked for:

  • A taxi
  • Opening times of the bank
  • The phone number for Bournemouth Crown Court
  • Cones for moving house
  • School administration

Superintendent Caroline Naughton, Head of Contact Management, said: “There are three key messages to the public.

“Firstly, policing is complex and therefore some calls will take longer to deal with, such as the reporting of crimes as we need to ensure all details are correct, provide support to the victim and ensure safeguarding is in place. Calls of this nature may take over 30 minutes to deal with and therefore the availability of call handers to answer calls is reduced.

“Secondly, if the matter isn’t urgent then please leave a message or email us on enquiries@dorset.pnn.police.uk. We have dedicated staff managing emails and responding to voicemails and we will reply to you promptly.

“Finally, it is very important that the public use the 101 service appropriately. We continue to receive inappropriate calls which put more demand on our system and potentially reduce availability of call handlers.”

Remember, if your call is an emergency, i.e. a threat to life, or if a crime is in progress, always call 999. For all non- emergency calls that require a police response, call 101 and if your call isn’t urgent, you can leave a message or use our email addressenquiries@dorset.pnn.police.uk and we will respond to you as soon as we are able to.

Issued: 15 July 2015

101 the non-emergency number
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