UK 101 Service - are you ready?


In the UK, when you have an emergency and you need the Emergency Services, you would dial 999. But what if it's not an emergency and you still need to talk to the police?  Well, 101 is the number to call. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So here is the big question; “have you even heard of this service?”

If you google 101 in the UK, the first link is to DirectGov to tell you all about it.  But if you didn't know about it, why would you google it in the first place!

Maybe I've got you thinking, I certainly hope so!

Maybe you're thinking, "does my dial-plan support this new 101 number?" Most UK dial-plans use the digit 9 for an outside/external call, followed by the required number, but if you're not aware of this service, will your users be left waiting for an inter-digit timeout because you have overlapping patterns, or worse still NU (number unobtainable)?

Look at you dial-plans now!  Think of the brownie points when you inform your customer that their IPT or UC solution has been configured ready to utilise this new service - even though your customer didn't even know it existed.

So, for your reference:

You should call 101 to contact the police to report less urgent crime and disorder or to speak to your local officers. For example, call 101:

  • if your car has been stolen
  • if your property has been damaged
  • if you suspect drug use or dealing in your local area
  • to report a minor traffic accident
  • to give the police information about crime in your area
  • to speak to the police about a general enquiry

The 101 service will be available across all areas of England and Wales by the end of January 2012.

The 101 service is currently available in the following areas:

  • Avon and Somerset
  • Devon and Cornwall
  • Dorset
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
  • Hertfordshire
  • London
  • Sheffield
  • Surrey
  • Sussex
  • Wales
  • Wiltshire

For information on when 101 will be available in your area, click here

If you have a non-emergency problem to report, but the 101 service is not available in your area, you should contact your local police force. Use the link below for a list of police force contact numbers.

Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobiles) cost  £0.15 per call no matter what time of day you call, or how long the call lasts.

Calls to 101 are answered by police call handlers in the control room of your local police force. When you call 101, the system will automatically connect you to your local police force. You will hear a recorded message telling you which force you are being connected to. If you are on the boundary between two or more forces, you will have a choice of which force you are connected to.

You should get this done now, or certainly approach your customers to see if they know of this service and intend to allow it on their systems.

Police UK non-emergency numbers

Nicolas Jacquey
chris habberjam

Chris is an experienced IT professional, specializing in voice communications. His favourite areas are around IPT and Unified Communications.