New non-emergency police number

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A NON-EMERGENCY police number is being launched across the region.

From today, the public will be able to phone 101 to report minor crimes, including small traffic accidents and criminal damage, as well as if they want to speak to a neighbourhood officer about issues in their community.

As part of a national roll-out designed to make it easier for people to contact police, Northumbria and Durham forces will be using the new number.

Durham Chief Constable Jon Stoddart said: “This is a simple number which should be easy to remember. We want people to use it when they’re reporting a crime or incident which doesn’t need the 999 response.

“By using this number people will be able to contact their local officers, as well as helping to reduce the demands on the 999 system, which is for emergencies only.”

Calls to 101 cost 15p per call.

People should continue to call 999 in an emergency.

When calling 101, the system will determine the caller’s location and play a recorded message announcing the police force they’re being connected to.