POLICE non-emergency phone number 101 is now the only one for people in County Durham to call.
The system, which went live in Durham in December, automatically connects callers to their nearest force, but includes options for four other neighbouring forces.
Durham’s previous number – 0845 606 0365, which dates back to 2003 – was switched off yesterday. Any callers will receive a message advising them to hang up and ring 101.
Chief Superintendent John Bell, head of Durham Constabulary’s Response Command, said: “101 is already proving popular for providing people with quick, direct access to their nearest police force.
“Our response times remain high and we want this to continue, so the more people who use 101 the better.”
It is for non-emergency calls only – people should still dial 999 in an emergency.
In addition to 101, a new SMS text service is going live.
People can text 86101 for advice, information, to report minor crime and ask to be contacted by an officer.