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101 phone charges to be scrapped

May 29, 2019 8:12 PM

The Home Office has today announced that the charge for calling the police non-emergency number is to be scrapped next year.
From April 2020, the Home Office will cover the £5 million a year connection costs.

At present, the telephony provider charges 101 callers a 15p connection fee.

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon has welcomed the news: "We're in the process of improving officer numbers in community policing teams, and it's important to me that the police are as accessible as possible and today's announcement is a really positive step forward.
"A lot has gone into improving the Force's performance in answering 101 calls and those most affected by this charge, which goes directly to the telephony provider, tend to be those most vulnerable.
"Reporting crime, passing on intelligence or ringing for an update should not cost callers 15p, and this is good news for victims and the people of Wiltshire."

Over the past two years, Wiltshire police have tried to improve the force's crime and communications centre after concerns about poor performance.
The time taken to answer a 101 call has gone from over 5 minutes in 2017 to 1.2 minutes at the end of 2018.

Call abandonment rates have dropped from 22% in 2017 to 5% this year.