101 reporting service FREE to use from April 1st
Thursday, March 26th, 2020
We are fortunate to live in an area of relatively low crime rates. But what should we do when things go wrong? When we have a particular concern? When we feel unsafe?
For questions relating to law and order, then clearly the Police are the first port of call. But beyond calling 999 for emergency assistance, how confident are you that your concerns will be acted upon? Are you daunted by reports of long waits on the non-emergency 101 service?
Such reports are not just hearsay – they have been noted for example in the last annual report of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel, acknowledged by the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and others.
These concerns have been reflected also at Chiltern Community Forum, and the 15p fee for the service also came in for some strong criticism at earlier meetings.
There is good news on the second point – from 1st April, the 101 telephone service becomes FREE to use.
As for performance, I am sharing a personal experience – and it’s a good one! After a very unpleasant incident, I filed a report to the Police. Since no-one was in imminent danger, 101 was the right route.
A long wait on the telephone would have escalated my already fraught state. So I filed the report online, using the 101 service. Some triage-like questions were followed by a form. It was easy to complete, the questions were not overly complex, and I received a print-out of my report and an e-mail receipt, promising follow-up. I felt a little better already – sometimes it’s better to be a keyboard warrior! But would anything happen?
The next day I WAS contacted and visited by a PCSO. He explained that any such report is processed and then allocated to an appropriate officer. When he came on shift, the report was waiting for him.
Needing to contact the PCSO again, this time I HAD to use the phone! By opting to speak to a specific officer, I was put through. Importantly, this should be used only if you are aware of who the officer is who is dealing with your incident. For logging reports, you would simply be instructed to return to 101 or the online option. It’s an option that needs to be used responsibly.
There is a long-standing problem of misuse (and sometimes abuse) of the 999 reporting system. Around 80% of 999 calls to Thames Valley do not require an emergency response. This includes callers who have become tired of waiting on 101. If the 101 service is to achieve its goal of easing pressure on 999 call handlers, and enabling more effective response to genuine emergencies, all police forces are very aware of the need to build confidence in and understanding of 101.
Thinking about calling 999 or 101? 📞
Did you know our website can help you to…
— Thames Valley Police (@ThamesVP) March 22, 2020
Other Recent Posts
Friday, July 3rd, 2020
Buckinghamshire Community Safety activities and notices including new contact details, domestic abuse, coronavirus scams, online safety, Neighbourhood Watch week, Coronavirus support and information Read More...
Thursday, July 2nd, 2020
More than 3 months since the start of ‘lockdown’, a significant easing of conditions is taking place in England this Saturday. We urge residents to ENJOY themselves with sense and good humour. And also, to give the Police cooperation and consideration. Read More...
Thursday, June 25th, 2020
Report on a well attended Forum meeting. Update on the COVID-19 context, and some good news on Burglary stats. Policing priorities retained as Burglary, Anti-Social Behaviour and Drug Dealing Read More...
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
Advice on avoiding being defrauded by ruthless criminals latching onto the Government Test & Trace System. As with all scam attempts, awareness and caution are the key. Read More...
Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
Details of £814,000 funding available for organisations serving victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. Funding is to cover increased costs arising from COVID-19 crisis and its effects. Read More...
Saturday, April 4th, 2020
Supt Amy Clements explains how our area continues to be policed during the coronavirus emergency, and how the public can help, and a video update from Chief Constable John Campbell. Read More...