101 Phone Number Free from April 1 2020

The Government has confirmed that all 101 phone calls, with the temporary exception of a few small operators, will be free of charge from 1 April 2020. Previously, there had been a charge of 15p to use the non-emergency line to contact the police. The phone number was introduced in December 2011 in a bid to make it easier to contact the police to report a crime, with the service used 30 million times in 2019.

Sajid Javid (above), the then Home Secretary, said in 2019 when the policy was announced:

“Scrapping the charge for making a 101 call will benefit millions of people every year — especially the vulnerable.”

The Home Office said that the number should be used for, with examples including:

  • if your car has been stolen
  • if your property has been damaged
  • if you suspect drug use or dealing in your neighbourhood
  • to give the police information about crime in your area
  • to speak to the police about a general enquiry