'Just called 101 for the first time – great idea' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.




Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.

Replies

  • peterbakerpeterbaker
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    I think irrespective of whether its 999 or 101, the civilian operators set one of three service levels:

    1) An immediate response (within 15 minutes so if there is physical violence or expected then it is perhaps best to call an ambulance as they are likely to be faster!

    2) Non-immediate priority (within an hour)

    3) Non-priority (within 48 hours)

    I called 101 four times last night between 9pm and midnight for the same ASB involving a gang of non resident drinkers hijacking the communal areas of our estate and got two actual responses. Both persuaded police in about one minute's conversation each time there was nothing to concern them. Meantime they got louder and more drunk of course and the word went out for others to turn up for a laugh because it might kick off perhaps. Residents returning home were intimidated in passing and if already indoors simply drew their curtains or stayed away from their windows.

    On one call I was advised that police have no powers to move people on from privately owned communal areas and perhaps we should employ a solicitor to advise us on trespass matters and on employing security guards. Two examples were given
    (1)* If someone turned up in your back garden then police would have no power to eject them if they were guilty of no criminal offence. The owner personally could ask them to leave for trespass and police could be asked to attend to keep the peace but police could not order anyone to leave.
    (2) Apparently the law was well understood from cases like the ejection of gypsies in Essex - that's why security guards and bailiffs were used.
    * I was particularly annoyed to be on the receiving end of this one as I know some old people who suffered exactly that and were distracted in the garden while another crept in and ransacked the bedroom.

    Some of the police operators are absolute plonkers and treat the public with disdain when we complain about lack of effective police response.

    We live in a nice area. Some of us try to make it better.

    Call the police for ASB like that and it is likely you will merely be creating a magnet situation for more trouble than you started with. Best perhaps to ignore it and the criminal damage and mess discovered in the morning and hope it will pass.

    These people take us and police for fools and they may be right on both counts.

    I was advised by a security guard this afternoon that if I wanted any kind of decent police response I had to report that I thought I had witnessed a stabbing or a knife flashing. Apparently they pile in on those (within 15 minutes if they are not busy with reports of bigger weapons on other incidents such as machetes or Uzis). The benefit apparently is that they indulge in less dialogue and let miscreants instantly know who is boss. But to get that kind of police service we have to lie.

    Not impressed even though it is answered now fairly quickly. My first attempt at 101 was about a week after the radio adverts first announced it. At that time after I had experienced the recorded message said it was being directed to Metropolitan Police it rang and rang and rang and rang and rang like the Carlsberg complaints line and I ended up calling the police local number instead.
  • irrelevantirrelevant Forumite
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    Greater Manchester Police have always had a standard local 0161 number for non-emergency calls. I've continued to use it since 101 came in, simply because it's an inclusive call both on the landline and mobile, and thus shouldn't cost me anything.

    (I didn't see the mattress blog entry first time around, but I encountered that exact same situation a couple of months back - mattress in the middle of the A57(M), which being a 2 lane elevated motorway, albeit only 50Mph, I thought worthy of a 999 call. (hands free, there and then!) It was handled quickly, and I was thanked for reporting it.)
  • The trouble with 101 is that it's no a free phone number
  • zerogzerog Forumite
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    peterbaker wrote: »
    I called 101 four times last night between 9pm and midnight for the same ASB involving a gang of non resident drinkers hijacking the communal areas of our estate and got two actual responses. ...

    These people take us and police for fools

    So you spent 60p and basically got told off (wrongly, but what can you do) for "wasting police time"...
  • crittertogcrittertog Forumite
    190 Posts
    peterbaker wrote: »
    Residents returning home were intimidated in passing and if already indoors simply drew their curtains or stayed away from their windows.

    On one call I was advised that police have no powers to move people on from privately owned communal areas
    It is true the trespass is a civil wrong, but it sounds like the above qualifies as a breach of the Public Order Act 1986:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harassment,_alarm_or_distress

    Alternatively, if they're sufficiently loud, would the local council's Environmental Health department get involved (as their remit includes late night noise).
    peterbaker wrote: »
    (1)* If someone turned up in your back garden then police would have no power to eject them if they were guilty of no criminal offence. The owner personally could ask them to leave for trespass and police could be asked to attend to keep the peace but police could not order anyone to leave.
    Looks like a false analogy to me, due to the above mention of alarm/distress ...
    peterbaker wrote: »
    (2) Apparently the law was well understood from cases like the ejection of gypsies in Essex - that's why security guards and bailiffs were used.
    This would appear to be somewhat irrelevant to the case being discussed as the bailiffs were operating as "officers of the court" with a court order, with police (in riot gear) back-up should anyone resist/kick off.
  • pixwixpixwix Forumite
    122 Posts
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    :cool:I live just north of the Scottish Border, so we can't use 101. Though to be honest, 999 isn't that much use around here either.

    In this area of rural Scotland, police aren't part of the answer - they're actually part of the problem. Cheap-pinch police officers are only interested in easy results from low-risk calls. I've seen police officers provoke violence in situations where it wasn't an issue until they arrived. Report a mugging or an assault, and don't hold your breath - they'll turn up when they calculate the fuss is all over (25 minutes to travel half a mile in the last incident I reported.) Drive with a faulty tail-light (especially if you're an 'incomer') and expect an instant response.

    I don't know how well 101 works - but rest assured that any reasonable police service is better than the bone-idle rednecks we have to deal with.
  • RuthnJasperRuthnJasper Forumite
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    I've dialled 101 for non-emergency issues on a number of occasions (Hampshire Police) and have always been very impressed with the speed of service. The most recent call was a couple of weeks ago when a country lane was completely blocked by a large fallen tree. Someone was there, and the Police had liaised with all the necessary Highways and traffic people within 30 minutes of my call.
    :T

    Also, if the 101 service means that the 999 switchboard is less-clogged with trivial reports and better able to deal with genuine emergencies then that can only be an excellent thing.
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