POLICE in South Yorkshire have launched an easy-to-remember phone number for non-emergencies.
New number 101, also used for general enquiries, has replaced the old 01142 20 20 20 line.
It costs a flat rate 15p from either mobiles or landlines and regardless how long the call lasts.
Head of communications, Supt Adrian Moran, said: “The 101 number will not change the way we respond to non-emergency calls but it will make it easier for the public to contact us.
“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.”
It is being phased in across the country to reduce the burden on the 999 system, where one third of current calls are not emergencies.
The 101 number has been used in Sheffield since 2006, under a partnership between the police and city council. All police forces will use the same number by January.
The 999 number should only be used when a crime is in progress or life is at risk.