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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 November 2007, 18:02 GMT
101 crime line funding withdrawn
101 logo
The number allows residents to report community problems directly
Funding for a hotline in Cardiff to report low-level crime will be ended by the Home Office in four months time.

The 101 service has been piloted in the city by South Wales Police and Cardiff Council, as one of five UK trial areas.

But the Home Office has confirmed it will not continue funding the service, and will divert cash to public protection and national security.

The partnership behind the Cardiff scheme said it was "shocked" and "extremely disappointed".

There have been doubts about its long-term future in recent weeks, and it has now been announced that funding will be withdrawn at the end of March 2008.

Peter Vaughan, South Wales Police deputy chief constable said: "We knew that securing a future for 101 with the withdrawal of all funding from the Home Office would be difficult.

"However achieving our goals for the service will be even more difficult now that the Home Office has given us a limited amount of time to source and secure alternative funding."

He said the city partnership would do its best to find a way forward for the non-emergency number, which is run from a call centre.

But Mr Vaughan admitted it would be "a huge challenge."

It is vital that we target our resources to those areas which will have the greatest impact
Home Office spokesman

Residents using the call centre can report non-emergency crime, annoyance, anti-social behaviour, as well as problems such as fly-tipping and dumped vehicles.

It has taken around 170,000 calls since 2006 and been praised by police chiefs for helping prioritise resources, so officers can concentrate on more urgent and serious crimes.

A recent study showed there was a 90% satisfaction rating from residents using the service.

Cllr Judith Woodman, deputy leader of Cardiff Council said: ''This decision made by the Home Office has shocked me and I am deeply concerned at its ramifications."

A Home Office spokesperson said they acknowledged 101's benefits and would continue to fund the national infrastructure so the number could remain in use by any of the five areas which wished to pay for the service to continue.

"However, it is vital that we target our resources to those areas which will have the greatest impact and which will contribute most to the protection of the public and security of the country," said the spokesperson.

The non-emergency number has also been piloted in Hampshire, Northumbria, Sheffield and Leicester.

According to a Home Office spokesman, it cost 7.47m to implement the service, covering approximately 10% of the population of England and Wales.

101 crime line 'too good to lose'
12 Sep 07 |  South East Wales
Half of 999 calls not emergencies
27 Sep 07 |  Scotland
Non-emergency phone line launched
14 May 06 |  Hampshire
Force launches new 101 crime line
11 May 06 |  Hampshire

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