POLICE in South Yorkshire today launch the new 101 non emergency contact number for incidents and enquiries less urgent than 999.
The 101 number replaces the previous 0114 2202020 non-emergency number for the whole of South Yorkshire, which will be gradually phased out.
The switchover comes at the start of the Bonfire weekend that is traditionally one of the busiest for less serious crime and antisocial behaviour.
The number is being introduced nationally to reduce the burden on the 999 system.
Currently approximately a third of all 999 calls received by South Yorkshire Police are not genuine emergencies.
By January 2012, all forces in England and Wales will be using the single non-emergency number.
Superintendent Adrian Moran, Head of Communications said: “101 will not change the way South Yorkshire Police respond to non-emergency calls but it will make it easier for the public to contact us.
“101 provides the public with an easy to remember number, in addition, every call will cost a flat rate of 15p regardless of whether you are calling from a landline or a mobile phone or how long the call lasts.
“It is important that our communities know how to contact us and the most appropriate way to contact us to resolve their issue. Calls to the 101 number will be answered by specially trained staff here in South Yorkshire - residents will not find themselves speaking to someone in another part of the country.”
In an emergency still always call 999.