Since its introduction across the UK in 2011 and 2012, the Police 101 telephone line has been the recommended alternative for people to use instead of 999 when dealing with a non-emergency.
The 999 number is reserved for emergencies where an ambulance, police officer, or fire crew is needed immediately. For all other non-emergencies, the public has been urged to use the 101 line, in instances like car theft, minor crimes like graffiti or damaged property, noise complaints, information about crime in your area, or general inquiries for the Police.
If there is a serious crime in progress or someone is in danger, you should always call 999. While the 999 emergency number is free to call, the Police 101 line costs 15p, but has been put in place to redistribute resources and save the emergency number for its proper use.
Problems and Potential Overnight Closure
Despite the use of 101 to alleviate the pressure of stretched resources, news this week has revealed further cuts to the budget that have affected people’s access to help and may mean that the non-emergency Police 101 line, which is open around the clock, will be switched off during the overnight period.
People will be directed instead to report online or to their local council for issues such as graffiti, littering, and noise. Usage of the 101 number has gone up to 32 million calls over the past year, resulting in call waiting times of around five minutes. It’s thought that switching off the service at night could reduce unnecessary calls and direct people to other areas for reports.
Another part of the problem is that funding for public services like the Police force just isn’t what it was, meaning resources are having to be prioritised. A night, the non-emergency line falls lower down on the list of priorities. A spokesperson for the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) said of the issue: “There are 44,000 fewer officers and staff involved in policing than there were in 2010.” The available staff will be responding to reported issues online instead, hopefully streamlining the incoming reports.
While online reporting sounds like a good alternative, many people do not have access to the internet. Elderly people in care homes, for example, may have no, or limited, access, meaning that reporting a concern online just isn’t an option. An available phone line open during the night was a way of giving them peace of mind, but with that taken away, many are worried about how they will act in a situation where they need help. With no good alternatives available, it’s likely they will need to call 999, further stretching police and emergency services.
Personal Alarms – An Affordable Alternative to Police 101
A safe and cost-effective alternative is the personal alarm, which provides round the clock assistance and care, as well consistent peace of mind for you and your family. The personal alarm system consists of a pendant worn around your neck or wrist with a red button attached for you to push and call for help. The pendant is connected to a base unit that is plugged into your phone line and will connect you to a member of our Response Team at any time of the day or night. Speaking to you over the base unit, the Response Team will assess the situation to decide what kind of help you need and stay on the line until help has arrived.
During the setup process, you will designate a list of emergency contacts who may be called if you are in a situation where you need help. Accidental pushes of the button are easily handled, and you are encouraged to try out your pendant about once a month. To complete your setup, push the pendant button to connect you to the Response Team and they will talk you through your initial test via the base unit’s loudspeaker.
When a situation arises and you need help during the night, the personal alarm provides a safe and easy alternative that requires no waiting. Simply push the button and outline your problem to the staff member on the line. The Response Team is TSA accredited and are available 24/7, 365 days a year. A member of the team will respond immediately to an alarm call and will be able to quickly and effectively assess the situation and decide whether to call an emergency contact or, if necessary, 999 for emergency help. They will stay on the line with you until help has arrived. 999 is called only in an emergency, reducing the amount of unnecessary calls by those who are unable to use the 101 line or any other alternative.
The personal alarm provides a safe alternative to the Police 101 number that is immediately accessible at any time, allays any worries, and gives our customers peace of mind that they will be taken care of no matter what the situation. This in turn can reduce the number of unnecessary 999 calls and give help to those who need it and are unable to use alternative internet resources or spend time on hold on the phone.
For more information about our life-saving personal alarm service, please get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Remember to use the discount code BLOG2019 when you order one of our personal alarm systems on a Monthly or Annual Plan to receive £10 off.