Most people have read, seen or heard news stories about absurd calls to the 999 emergency service as callers attempt to obtain help for their predicament from understandably unsympathetic and in some cases exasperated 999 operators.
Recently, however, it has come to our attention that:-
- Some callers have dialled 999 asking for the number for directory enquiries.
- Some callers are using the 101 non-emergency number as a directory enquiry service.
In the light of this disturbing information, we thought that we would help to clarify the correct usage of these numbers.
What is 101 number for?
The 101 number is for people who need to speak to the police about a non-emergency matter. These could include noisy neighbours, anti-social behaviour, abandoned vehicles and vandalism.
Calls top this number cost just 15p, no matter how long you call for and whether you call from a landline or mobile.
The 101 number, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – was introduced in 2011.
To report a genuine emergency, dial 999.
When to call 111?
The 111 number is the non-emergency medical number. If you are in need of medical help, call 111 unless it is an emergency, in which case call 999.
You will be given advice on what to do next, whether it’s to go to hospital, call 999, or visit your local GP.
If you need a directory enquiries service, please call 118 365 (remember “118, every day”). It’s only 51p.