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101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces (Read 78,978 times)
jrawle
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #150 - Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:33am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Nov 23rd, 2011 at 1:06am:
If the "switchboard" asks for the name of a "particular person or department", the answer is that one is calling the Home Office advised "alternative geographic [rate] number" for 101 because of "concerns about call-cost". It may be prudent not to tell the switchboard operator that you can afford to buy a £50,000 BMW and it has been stolen. Concerns about paying your phone company 15p to get through to the Police simply to ask for a crime number to put on a £50,000 insurance claim may not be treated with the greatest sympathy.

[...]

I fear that calling 999, as the number which prompts a response, when no response will be made, is not going to change Police policy or resources. 101 was deliberately chosen so as to make it less likely for calls to 999 to be made out of ignorance of the proper number to call. One may have to take care in deliberately calling 999 knowing that the call is inappropriate, and soliciting others to do the same; I understand that this could be a criminal offence.

One could say that it is "taxpayers" whose pockets are being lined as a result of the Home Office choosing not to use their money to pay to make 101 "free to caller" or "free to some callers". This of course includes those taxpayers for whom 15p is a lot cheaper than calling a normal telephone number, who could be lining their pockets with the money they have saved. One could also say that telcos are lining their pockets because they charge for their services, even though they typically charge 101 callers without inclusive packages in effect at the time less than what they charge them for a geographic call.

Aren't you making assumptions about who might have a £50,000 car stolen? What if it's someone who's saved for 20 years, doesn't smoke, drink or take foreign holidays, yet has saved and bought the car they wanted. It's extremely distressing to be a victim of crime, yet you seem to think a BMW owner is asking for it simply by having such a car. You continually lecture everyone here for wanting to avoid using 101. Yet this still isn't the case I keep highlighting, which is calling the police as a good citizen to report an issue that doesn't actually affect the caller at all, but the caller is giving his or her time to report the issue for the good of society.

Of course, misuse of 999 shouldn't be condoned, and indeed, the reason for introducing 101 is so that ignorant/uneducated people have a memorable number they can call that isn't 999. I do think there's a case for arguing that people who don't have the intelligence or knowledge to know they need to consult the phone book or web to find the police's local number can instead pay 15p for the privilege and convenience of dialling 101, just as probably the same people dial 118 xxx when they want to find a phone number instead of using cheaper methods. For those of us who do know how and where to obtain the number for the police, we can continue to benefit from calls that are paid for by the phone packages we already pay for.

Thanks also for pointing out that people with calls packages are not only subsidising mobile users, but also people who don't pay for calls packages. Although, in general, it's pretty stupid to pay per-minute charges to call geographical numbers when it's only 5p with 18185. I don't have inclusive daytime calls, but on the rare occasion I need to make one I pay 5p (although during periods I have a mobile contract I use that for daytime calls, obviously).

One thing I do agree with which you said is that it isn't that the 15p cost is significance. It's a matter of principle. For me, the issue is that a public-spirited person who is trying to do something good for society as a whole can end up paying for it. People are already too selfish, so the last thing we should be doing is imposing a financial penalty for people who give up their time (as if it isn't already bad enough that the police take so many details that the caller feels he or she is the criminal...)
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #151 - Nov 23rd, 2011 at 3:51pm
 
jrawle wrote on Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:33am:
...  It's extremely distressing to be a victim of crime, yet you seem to think a BMW owner is asking for it simply by having such a car.

Not at all. My underlying concern (which is loosely relevant to the issue) is that victims of crime and those reporting it, but who do not see it taking place, are being treated in the same way as those who contact the Police on any trivial or administrative matter. Because 101 is used for both, I believe that it should be "free to caller", totally paid for out of taxation. I would be content for a geographic rate number to be used for the latter purpose.

This situation has existed for a very long time; 101 has simply it brought it more clearly into focus. Both BMW and bicycle owners have been paying 20p (or 40p) per minute to report the loss of their vehicles, as they find them missing and immediately use their PAYG mobiles. In many cases they would have called 999 and been given the number to redial.


The Home Office has stated that the geographic alternatives are made available for use by those who have "concerns about call-cost". My point about the Police switchboard operator was that they may question whether the owner of a high value car was justified in being reluctant to pay their telephone company 15p for a phone call. It seems possible that a caller to the West Mercia Police switchboard may have to press their concern about call-cost, if asking to be put through to the 101 call centre, as this is specifically excluded from the calls that the switchboard is said to handle.

15p is less than a subscriber to the current "default" BT call plan would pay for a 1 minute call to a geographic rate number before 7pm on a weekday. (As Unlimited Anytime is now the most popular BT plan, BT should consider making this the default, with a discount for those who only make calls after 7 or at the weekends - or through other call providers.)

My personal view is that citizens should not be obliged to "ask for favours", e.g. having to express a concern about call-cost, when accessing public services provided to all without charge. I believe that we should all be able to access all such services on equal terms, regardless of wealth, vehicle ownership, telephone tariff or any other personal characteristic.

I see the terms of our arrangements with those who facilitate access, i.e. telephone companies, ISPs, postal and courier services, bus companies, taxi firms, car park operators etc. as a totally separate issue. With 101, this separation has been fudged by persuading the telephone companies to apply an unusually equitable approach to charging for calls.

jrawle wrote on Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:33am:
the caller is giving his or her time to report the issue for the good of society

I believe that this is one of the reasons why, given that the government was not prepared to pay to make these calls free, it made an arrangement for everyone to pay the same relatively low fee, so as to avoid the sizeable cost that some would incur in contacting the Police by telephone on a geographic rate number.

To achieve what some would see as an equitable outcome, there are obviously some who will pay more than they would to call a geographic number. I believe we are in agreement that the proper approach would have been for us all to pay for these calls through our taxes.

jrawle wrote on Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:33am:
You continually lecture everyone here

If there is a point that I may be repeating too often, it is that somebody always pays.

It is never the government (central or local) or a public body, it is the taxpayers who provide their money.

It is never the telephone companies or other businesses, it is most often their customers, who provide their money.

Most of the time we are only arguing about the capacity in which we pay for things.

I argue that we should pay for calls to 101 as taxpayers. All of us paying the same as callers is perhaps the next best option. Given that 101 is used for the reporting of crime, I do not think it fair that we should pay according to what we would pay for a geographic rate call. For other contact with public bodies, I do believe that geographic rate calls are the proper option. I do not believe that those accessing public services by telephone should pay to subsidise the cost of providing the service, which should be met by taxpayers. (There may be an exception in the case of self-funding public services, e.g. the Land Registry, where costs are met by fees paid by users, rather than out of taxation. It is however imperative that such fees are clearly declared and justified.)

- End of lecture -
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sherbert
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #152 - Nov 23rd, 2011 at 8:29pm
 
I wonder if this going to go a stage further?

Are we going to have a non emergency number for the ambulance service, like if you break your toe you ring one number and if it is your leg it is 999?

Maybe the same will apply to the fire service, a small fire will require you to dial a different number to a full blown house fire which will require the 999 number.

I am writing in jest before we get another lecture from SCV  Wink but is it  a possibility? Undecided
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #153 - Nov 23rd, 2011 at 10:05pm
 
sherbert wrote on Nov 23rd, 2011 at 8:29pm:
I wonder if this going to go a stage further?

Are we going to have a non emergency number for the ambulance service, like if you break your toe you ring one number and if it is your leg it is 999?

Maybe the same will apply to the fire service, a small fire will require you to dial a different number to a full blown house fire which will require the 999 number.

I am writing in jest before we get another lecture from SCV  Wink but is it  a possibility? Undecided

Just a brief comment for now, I could do a lecture if you wish! ... certainly on 111.

We have 111 which is the health alternative to 999, allegedly for urgent but non-emergency cases. This is "free to caller". The brief however is apparently being extended to cover all aspects of health information and advice, as offered by NHS Direct. This will end unhappily!

The Fire service grew out of services provided by insurance companies to only deal with emergencies at properties which they covered. It is not impossible that the Fire service will be scaled back to deal only with cases where there is danger to life or to the public interest. Those calling 999 about other cases may be advised to ring their insurance company (and we know what type of number that is likely to be!).

Do not make the mistake which the AA once made, by forgetting that the Coastguard Service (on 999) is the fourth public emergency service.
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speedy
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #154 - Nov 24th, 2011 at 12:43am
 
This morning I attended our Local Neighbourhood Agreement Review Meeting where several Council Dept Heads attend together with the attending Police Sergent of our Neighbourhood Police Unit. I asked the question 'is the 01622 geog. number going to continue longside 101 he said 'no it will be phased out slowly' so no Home Office statement correct here re publishing longside.

After phoning Council Reception where we now have Police presence after losing our Local Cop Shop I was told that this is now our local cop shop for Contact and for the local bobbies to work from same as old Police stn was. They told me to phone 01622 for Admin. etc.

When I dialed 01622 I got through to Main Switchboard and was transf. to Control Room which is also for Admin. When I later had to phone again to correct a number I had given them I thought to ask the Switchboard what if I had dialed 101 and she said I would have gone straight through to Control Room for both Activity and Admin. missing out the Main Switchboard altogether.

So it looks as if the existing geo number or 0845 whichever is in use now will remain for the use of the rest of the Main Hub Building but not published.

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« Last Edit: Nov 24th, 2011 at 12:45am by speedy »  
 
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sherbert
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #155 - Nov 24th, 2011 at 7:31am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Nov 23rd, 2011 at 10:05pm:
Do not make the mistake which the AA once made, by forgetting that the Coastguard Service (on 999) is the fourth public emergency service.


...and cave rescue is the fifth.

Although, I am not sure how you get a signal deep under the ground
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« Last Edit: Nov 24th, 2011 at 7:37am by sherbert »  
 
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CJT-80
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #156 - Nov 24th, 2011 at 9:12am
 
SilentCallsVictim wrote on Nov 23rd, 2011 at 10:05pm:
Do not make the mistake which the AA once made, by forgetting that the Coastguard Service (on 999) is the fourth public emergency service.


SCV I believe the AA once said "to our members we're the Fourth Emergency Service" however I assume your point was made in part jest  Wink

Regarding the use of 101 can anyone confirm what the price to call them is supposed to be? According to http://www.police.uk/101 it's 15p per call, but according to someone on here one provider is charging 17/18p per call?

A very very confusing and frankly shambolic situation.

Maybe it's time to start using phone boxes (where available) to call the Police locally?

Also who does the 15p go to??

Smiley
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sherbert
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #157 - Nov 24th, 2011 at 9:41am
 
From today's Daily Wail,...... sorry Mail Wink


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2065288/15p-charge-calling-police-New-co...

In this article....


The 15p cost of the call will go directly to Cable and Wireless for providing the service. In addition, forces will also pay a further 0.035p per minute for every call received, an Acpo spokesman said. In 11 forces, 101 will replace premium 0845 numbers which often led to much higher call costs


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« Last Edit: Nov 24th, 2011 at 9:43am by sherbert »  
 
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jrawle
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #158 - Nov 24th, 2011 at 10:26am
 
Quote:
101 was first introduced by Labour in 2006 but was abandoned after costing £41million when it had failed to reduce 999 calls.

This was why I was surprised to find all of a sudden that 101 was being introduced nationally. I thought the trial had ended a failure. What a waste of money too. No wonder they need to charge per call to recoup it (except they won't, as the money goes to phone companies).

Also, if the idea is to have a single contact number, why is there not a single non-emergency number? Are we to have 101 for police, 111 for an ambulance, 122 for a minor fire, 133 for coastguard, 134 for cave rescue, 141 to rescue a cat from a tree, 155 to free someone from a clothes horse...
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sergeant121
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #159 - Nov 25th, 2011 at 10:35am
 
speedy wrote on Nov 24th, 2011 at 12:43am:
This morning I attended our Local Neighbourhood Agreement Review Meeting where several Council Dept Heads attend together with the attending Police Sergent of our Neighbourhood Police Unit. I asked the question 'is the 01622 geog. number going to continue longside 101 he said 'no it will be phased out slowly' so no Home Office statement correct here re publishing longside.

And just how do you phase out a phone number slowly?    

You can phase out publicity of the number but actual calls can either get through to the number or, when it's turned off, they can't.
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« Last Edit: Nov 25th, 2011 at 10:37am by sergeant121 »  

How can you tell when a lawyer's lying?  His (or her) lips move.
 
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jrawle
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #160 - Nov 26th, 2011 at 4:57pm
 
sergeant121 wrote on Nov 25th, 2011 at 10:35am:
And just how do you phase out a phone number slowly?    

You can phase out publicity of the number but actual calls can either get through to the number or, when it's turned off, they can't.

Perhaps they will start only answering it in the morning. And then only on Mondays and Wednesdays.
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speedy
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #161 - Nov 27th, 2011 at 2:56am
 
I have just looked all over the Kent Police Site and nowhere obvious can you find shown their usual 01622 690690 number - however on persisting on Site - Contact Us - Press Office - Out of Hours it does show 101 inside Kent - 01622 690690 outside Kent / Overseas ) there is another 01622 number for the Press Office ending in 50

There is also a Complaints to which I will be sending an email pointing out that their Home Page contravenes the Home Office assurance that a Geo Number would be Published alongside the 101 and see what they come back with - I will look for an Official Home Office statement and include that in my email.  Will update here when any answer.
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bigjohn
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #162 - Nov 27th, 2011 at 4:44am
 
On the Dorset Police Site they publish a geo number alongside 101.

"Calls to the 101 non-emergency number – from both landlines and mobiles – cost 15 pence per call no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone.

If you have a speech or hearing impairment, you can textphone 18001 101.

For more information about the 101 non-emergency number, please follow this link >

You can also continue to contact us on 01202 22 22 22 and if you are calling from outside Dorset, please use this number. "

http://www.dorset.police.uk/Default.aspx?page=5507

Adjoining force  Avon and Somerset says
"•International callers, those in the UK residing outside of England and Wales and those residing in local force areas currently awaiting access to 101 should call 0845 456 7000 to contact Avon and Somerset Police."

http://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/contact/101/

But the other three adjoining forces Devon and Cornwall, Hampshire,and Wiltshire do not offer any alternative numbers. Shocked
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« Last Edit: Nov 27th, 2011 at 5:03am by bigjohn »  

BJ.
 
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SilentCallsVictim
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #163 - Nov 27th, 2011 at 5:35am
 
speedy wrote on Nov 27th, 2011 at 2:56am:
...I will look for an Official Home Office statement and include that in my email.  Will update here when any answer.

It would be very useful if anyone can find or obtain afresh a formal Home Office statement to confirm, deny or supersede that reported by Ofcom at para 6.21 of its statement on 101 in 2006 ...

Quote:
In response to concerns about call-cost, the Home Office will also ensure that alternative geographic numbers for each partnership will be listed on a web site. Callers will be able to continue to call a partnership directly on that geographic number.

It could be said that this no longer applies, now that 101 is only being used for the Police (except in Sheffield), rather than for Police / Local Authority partnerships.

It is of some interest to note that there is no reference to geographic alternatives in the "marketing pack" made available to those doing the PR work on the 2011 launch of 101. Although not conclusive, this provides strong evidence that the Home Office policy has changed. A policy to provide alternatives without communicating the fact to those who may wish to use them amounts to not providing them. The "get out" could be that the alternatives are only for use by those who are so concerned about call-cost that they can find them without the Police admitting to the fact that they exist.

P.S. I like the reference to "over 40p per minute" as the cost of calling a 0845 number - I wonder where that particular figure was picked up from! Yes, I know they should have abandoned 0845 some time ago, but we cannot deny those who do the right thing the opportunity to take some credit for doing so, even if it is belated.



bigjohn wrote on Nov 27th, 2011 at 4:44am:
Quote:
You can also continue to contact us on 01202 22 22 22 and if you are calling from outside Dorset, please use this number.

Now we have the problem with those who would find it much cheaper to call 101 and choose to be connected to Dorset when calling from outside the area. For some, 20p per minute is a lot more than 15p per call.


To quote "Dennis Moore" from the famous Monty Python sketch - Quote:
Blimey, this redistribution of wealth is trickier than I thought!

Whilst Dennis was trying to impose total equity by force, it is no less tricky for those of us who simply seek to have equitable principles applied to the delivery of public services.


In the end it may come down to the particular operations of each Force / Service / Constabulary. Some may operate a geographic number which is suitable for use as an alternative to 101, others may not. I doubt that the Home Office compels a particular operational model for all Police communications services beyond what is necessary to ensure consistency of the 101 service itself.

The question is whether it compels a geographic alternative to 101 to be provided and maintained, as it stated in 2006. If not, then the battle over alternatives will have to be fought in each individual case, unless the Home Office can be persuaded to change its position - and also deal with any funding consequences that may result.
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speedy
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Re: 101 - New Non-Emergency No. for ALL Police Forces
Reply #164 - Nov 27th, 2011 at 7:56pm
 
Thanks SCV for the link to the Ofcom Statement - I waded all through - found the relevant para myself - came out and carried on with your post and then found that you had specified further on exactly the para I had found while getting saucer eyes  Grin - must learn to read the whole post before jumping in a link  Wink  I will add this para and Ofcom Document and date not the link - can't have them getting saucer eyes if they bothered to read it at all Ha Ha

It would be nice if an update confirmation could be got from the Home Office - there again they might confirm that it had been dropped   Cry then our point would be lost. I doubt if Police could get accurate info by just contacting Home Office - Most Civil Servants only know their particular Dept accurately sometimes not even then.
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« Last Edit: Nov 27th, 2011 at 8:04pm by speedy »  
 
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