Lincolnshire Police have reached out to clarify their new 101 non-emergency number is not “a money-making scam”, but in fact costs less to use than the old 0300 number.
Assistant Chief Constable Keith Smy said several e-mails and comments received by police suggest some were not aware of charges for using the 0300 number, which is being phased out.
As previously reported, the new 101 non-emergency number, which came into use in Lincolnshire on Monday, costs 15p for any length of the call.
Smy said: “The fixed price of 15p for any length of 101 call means that for the vast majority of people this will be cheaper than calls to the old numbers.
“Some people were paying more than 15p per minute before, so in these hard times that has to be a good thing!”
Calls to 101 will automatically connect you to your local police, from where the call can be progressed or directed to the correct department.
“The charge in fact reduces with the new 101 number,” Smy explained.
“Lincolnshire Police have not imposed any charge and we certainly aren’t on any ‘money making scam’ as has been suggested.”
The Assistant Chief Constable says the new 101 number has been introduced for a number of reasons:
“Firstly, it is cheaper for those using it; it is a lot easier to remember and means that people don’t have to look up numbers for their local police – wherever they are in the country.
“From wherever you are calling it simply puts you through to your nearest police force,” he said.
Research by the Home Office suggested that more than half the people asked whether they knew their local police non-emergency number couldn’t remember it.
“So this has to be a better service for people. As we’ve said, other numbers will be gradually phased out over the coming months.
“The other numbers will work too for some time yet but you might be missing out on saving some money if you need to contact us, so make sure to use 101.”
“It’s worth mentioning as well that the police do not receive any income or money from call charging and this great single national call rate was negotiated with the Home Office, the police and the telephone companies.”