101 Police non-emergency Number SCRAP THE CHARGE
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I have been a victim of hate crime and harassment from 9 August 2015 to date.
I have used the emergency 999 number and the non emergency number, 101, over hundred times. Calls to 999 are free of charge. But I only recently learned that there is a charge for 101 non-emergency calls when I checked my mobile phone bill. I am petitioning to get home office to make these calls free the same as 999.
All telecoms providers operating in the UK are obliged as part of their licence agreement to provide a free of charge emergency operator (on dialling 999) service. However calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call, or how long you are on the phone. And is some cases the charge is much higher. For example my service provider is Vodafone, and they charge 55 pence per minute.
I fear that the cost could discourage witnesses and victims, Anyone who is unemployed or on a low income may think twice before coming forward. The effect could be even more significant in higher-crime areas where people might be calling on a regular basis, or for those who are frequent victims of anti-social behaviour. They stand to run up quite a bill. I can speak from an experience - my monthly phone bills are significantly high because of reporting hate crimes to the police.
The public can play an important role in police efforts to curb crime and help hold these who perpetuate it to account.
‘If we want the public to engage with the police we should reduce the barriers, not create them. The downside of a charge doesn’t motivate people to call. It could discourage some people who are witnesses or who have information from actually phoning in to report a crime.
‘101 is a good idea but it should be free.’
I also fear the charge might be backfiring because people will default to to the free 999 emergency number.
I am asking you to back my campaign to get 101 call fees to be scrapped. This campaign aims to remove barriers, help more victim of crimes and witnesses to recognise, report and reduce crimes, which can detract in profound ways from people’s sense of safety and security. We are all members of different and overlapping communities, so it is everyone’s responsibility to be involved in ending any type of crime towards anyone.
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