Old non-emergency police number ditched from Monday

From Monday (February 18) members of the public will no longer be able to reach Sussex Police on the old non-emergency contact number of 0845 60 70 999.

Last year, forces throughout England and Wales switched from their various non emergency contact numbers to 101.

In Sussex, the old 0845 number ran alongside this but it will be switched off from Monday and callers will hear a recorded message encouraging them to use 101 or Sussex Police’s own non emergency number 01273 470 101.

Chief Superintendent Wayne Jones, Head of Sussex Police Communications Department said, “In the coming weeks there will be more information online and in the press promoting both numbers, which offer different benefits to the public.

“101 is easy to remember, quick to dial and costs a maximum of 15p per call. The 01273 number means that callers are put through to us directly without having to go through the process of selecting a local force and, if you have an inclusive plan which includes free calls to local numbers, there is no cost if dialling from a landline.

“At the same time, we are encouraging the public to report non-emergency issues at www.sussex.police.uk where they can email or ask questions online to our Police Contact Centre staff or find out information that might previously have required a phone call.”

When a member of the public calls 101, the system will determine the caller’s location and connect them to the police force covering that area.

They will hear a recorded message announcing which police force they are being connected to. If a caller is on a boundary between two or more forces, the recorded message will give them a choice.

Police call handlers in the force control room for that area will then answer the calls and respond appropriately. The caller will not be put through to a large national call centre.

All contact details were changed on the Force’s website and social media sites in November last year when 101 was launched, and it now appears on new printed information.

Calls to the 101 non-emergency number will cost 15 pence for the entire call, no matter how long the call or what time of day it is.

This applies to both landlines and mobile phones. In an emergency, callers should still dial 999, which is free. Those members of the public with impaired hearing or speech can still use the textphone -18001 101.