Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Calls to 101 from landlines and mobiles cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long the call lasts.


Non-emergency 101

Questions

  1. What is 101?
  2. Why should you call 101?
  3. What happens when you call 101
  4. Will 101 replace 999?
  5. How much does it cost to call 101?
  6. Why are calls to 101 not free of charge like 999?
  7. If people have to pay 15 pence to call 101, will they not just call 999 instead as it is free?
  8. Are calls to 101 answered by the police?
  9. What happens if you call 101 but it is an emergency situation?
  10. Is 101 available outside of Devon and Cornwall?
  11. How do I contact Devon and Cornwall Police if I am out of the force area?
  12. What happens if I am calling the police about something that happened outside of Devon and Cornwall?
  13. I am deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech impairment, can I call 101?
  14. What if English is not my first language, can I still call 101?
  15. Who is funding 101?

Answers

Question 1: What is 101?

101 is the number to call when you want to contact Devon & Cornwall Police about non-emergency police matters.

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Question 2: Why should you call 101?

You should use 101 to report a non urgent crime or for general police enquiries. For example:

  • If a crime has already happened.
  • To give information about a crime
  • To speak to you local officer.

Using 101 or our online crime reporting service for situations that do not require an immediate police response helps keep 999 available for when there is an emergency.

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Question 3: What happens when you call 101?

When you call 101, you will be greeted by an automated system that will automatically identify your location and offer you the option of being connected to your local police force.

If you are calling within Devon and Cornwall, your call will be answered by Devon & Cornwall Police call handlers. This ensures that staff with local knowledge can deal with calls in a way that best meets the needs of their communities.

If you would like a different force you will be given the option to speak to an operator to select your chosen area. Your call will be answered by police call handlers in the control room of that local police force.

You can call 101 from anywhere in the UK and you will be given the option of speaking to police call handlers within Devon and Cornwall. If your selection is not correct, you will be given the option to speak to an operator.

You can also contact us about non-urgent matters by emailing 101

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Question 4: Will 101 replace 999?

No, 101 is the number to use to contact the police in situations that do not require an immediate police response. 999 will continue to be the number that you need to dial when you need to report an emergency. An emergency is when a crime is happening, someone suspected of a crime is nearby, someone is injured, being threatened or in danger.

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Question 5: How much does it cost to call 101?

Calls to 101 from landlines and mobiles cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long the call lasts.

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Question 6: Why are calls to 101 not free of charge like 999?

101 is a service made available to members of the public to be used in situations that do not require an immediate police response. Therefore it is appropriate that a contribution is made to the cost of providing this service.

The police service has always charged for non emergency calls but the introduction of the national 101 number allows the cost to be standardised across the country. The Home Office has negotiated a competitive price for this service and in many force areas the 15 pence per call charge replaces previous higher charges. 101 is not a profit-making telephone number.

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Question 7: If people have to pay 15 pence to call 101, will they not just call 999 instead as it is free?

We acknowledge that there will always be a risk that people will use the 999 system inappropriately rather than pay 15 pence to call 101, for example, if they do not have enough credit on their mobile phone. We will continue to raise awareness of the consequences of inappropriate use of 999 in order to limit this. Where the 999 system is being abused we will seek to take appropriate action that can include having someone’s phone disconnected.

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Question 8: Are calls to 101 answered by the police?

Yes, all calls to 101 are answered by police operators in Devon and Cornwall control rooms.

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Question 9: What happens if you call 101 but it is an emergency situation?

If you call 101 and it is deemed to be an emergency situation, our trained police operators will put you through to 999 for immediate assistance.

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Question 10: Is 101 available outside of Devon and Cornwall?

Yes, 101 is currently available in all parts of the United Kingdom.

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Question 11: How do I contact Devon & Cornwall Police if I am out of the force area?

If you are anywhere in the UK you can still dial 101 and you will be given options to select the police force that you wish to speak to. If your selection is not correct, you will be given the option to speak to an operator.

If you are telephoning from outside the UK, please dial +44 1392 420320.

You can also contact us through this website and by email: 101@dc.police.uk

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Question 12: What happens if I am calling the police about something that happened outside of Devon and Cornwall?

If you are calling about something that happened in a different area, still call 101 and either use the option system or speak to the 101 operator to get connected to the force you require.

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Question 13: I am deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech impairment, can I call 101?

If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18001 101.

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Question 14: What if English is not my first language, can I still call 101?

Our police operators have access to professional interpreters who can quickly translate your call if you cannot, or have difficulty, speaking English.

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Question 15: Who is funding 101?

The national 101 telephony infrastructure is funded by the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government. The operation of the 101 number in Devon and Cornwall is funded by Devon and Cornwall Police. 101 is not a profit-making telephone number.

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Contact

Contact centre
Devon & Cornwall Police
Police Headquarters
Middlemoor, Exeter
Devon
EX2 7HQ

Tel: 101
Textphone: 67101 sms/text number for the deaf/hard hearing/speech impaired
Tel: 18001 101 Minicom/Textphone

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

Current location: Change

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