Calls to the police non-emergency 101 number are free of charge from today following a public campaign.
The move was announced by the Home Office and comes as police forces across the UK prepare for the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Previously, people who used the non-emergency police number were charged 15p per call. From April 1 the Home Office will cover the £7m per year it costs to fund the service.
Welcoming the move, Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: “This is a positive development and ensures victims of crime including the most vulnerable in our communities will no longer have to pay for reporting crime or information.
“The public have been calling for an end to the charging system for some time and I’m glad the government has listened. This change in approach should encourage more people to use the service and provide vital information that can help the police solve crime.
“During this global health emergency, police forces are dealing with unprecedented calls and demand and there are also other ways to receive help, including the force’s website. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the public for their continued support in these challenging times.
“However, I would also reiterate the importance of using the 101 number wisely during this crisis period.”
Derbyshire Constabulary has posted the following message on its website regarding contact, which is fully supported by the Commissioner.
Coronavirus (Covid-19): We're asking you please to only call 999 if it is an emergency and 101 if it is urgent. If you can, use our online services. If you’re looking for information about the government instruction to stay at home and how that may affect you, you'll find guidance on Gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus). We’ll be updating information on our services over the coming days, please check online for those updates.
Other ways to contact Derbyshire Constabulary are detailed on this link https://www.derbyshire.police.uk/contact/af/contact-us/
For ways to contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, use
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 1st April 2020