15p charge to call police 101 number to be dropped
Calls to the police non-emergency 101 number will be free from April next year.
Callers have been paying 15p per call since the service was launched in England and Wales in December 2011, with the aim of freeing up calls to 999 and providing a memorable and accessible number for non-emergency contact with the police.
In Lincolnshire alone, 250,000 calls are received a year - more than 670 a day - equating to £37,500 for the county's residents.
The move to drop the charge, announced today (Monday) by the Home Office, has been welcomed by Marc Jones, the police and crime commissioner for Lincolnshire.
Mr Jones, who said he raised at a national level the call to get the charges dropped, said: "This is really positive news. Reporting crime, passing on vital information or highlighting abuse shouldn’t cost the caller 15p.
"Victims of domestic abuse sometimes have their finances and activities controlled or closely monitored by their abuser and knowing this charge can show up on bills can be a barrier to them getting in touch when they most need help.
"This move is good for victims and good for the people of Lincolnshire."
The Home Office will spend £5 million a year to fund the phone service in the UK.