WEST Midlands Police, together with other police forces in the region, is launching a new, non-emergency contact number for the public today (Tuesday 08 November).

The new 101 number is being introduced to improve access to police, ease pressure on the 999 system and to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.

The 101 service is part of a national programme to improve access to the police and will give the public an easy way to get in touch with the police for calls that do not require an urgent response.

The system will work by redirecting people’s calls, wherever they are in the country, to their nearest police force and is intended to be easier for people to remember.

Callers using the number will incur a flat rate charge of 15p no matter how long the call lasts and whether their call is made from a landline or mobile.

The 101 number should be used to report a crime or anti-social behaviour which does not need an emergency response. For example, it could be used to report a crime that has already happened, seek crime prevention advice or make police aware of local policing issues.

In an emergency, members of the public should continue to use 999.