FEES for calling 101 will be scrapped as part of a £5m pledge by the Home Office to stop forcing victims to pay to report crime.
The move comes after Vodafone announced it would no longer charge pay-as-you-go users, because they “tend to be more vulnerable”.
Calling 101 non-emergency police line could soon be free as the Home Office vowed to review its 15p charge[/caption]
Home Secretary Sajid Javid vowed to axe the charge from April 2020.
He said: “Scrapping the charge for making a 101 call will benefit millions of people every year – especially the vulnerable.
“It’s vital members of the public have confidence in the police and are able to report any non-emergency incidents in a convenient and accessible way.”
A Home Office spokesman said earlier this month: “We welcome Vodafone’s decision and would encourage other mobile phone operators to follow their lead, whilst we review charges for the 101 non-emergency telephone number.”
The Daily Telegraph reported that Vodafone will make 101 calls free for all seven million of its pay-as-you-go users from the end of this month, exempting them from the 15p flat-rate fee.
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Victims commissioner Baroness Newlove said: “This is great news. What concerned me was that those on pay as you go were particularly being penalised. This cannot be right.
“We need to encourage the public to report crimes and making this service free is a step in the right direction.”
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary had warned that the public was loving confidence in the non-emergency service and were turning to 999oto report minor offences and non-emergencies.
In a report last month, outgoing Victims Commissioner Baroness Newlove recommended reviewing the cost of 101 calls to see whether they should be free, like dialling 999.
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