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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 November 2007, 18:10 GMT
Crime hotline loses funding
Man making telephone call
The new number was being piloted across the country
A non-emergency telephone number for people to report low-level crime in Sheffield is to lose its funding in February, the Home Office says.

The 101 number, which is being piloted in the city and four other areas across the UK, was designed to ease pressure on the emergency services.

It has taken 85,000 calls since it was set up in Sheffield in June 2006.

The South Yorkshire 101 Partnership said it was disappointed, and was assessing other funding options.

Funding for the non-emergency number in Cardiff, Hampshire, Northumbria and Leicester is also being cut.

'Positive impact'

A Home Office statement said: "This was a difficult decision taken in the context of significant pressure on our budget and competing priorities.

"The Home Office acknowledge the many benefits achieved by the five live 101 partnerships and the commitment to improving services that these achievements represent.

"It is hoped that the lessons learned about effective partnership working and improved access and quality of service in dealing with community safety issues, will be mainstreamed into local operations wherever possible."

A joint statement from Andy Holt, Ass Ch Con of South Yorkshire Police, and Liz Bashforth, from Sheffield City Council, said they were disappointed as the service had been "very successful" in the city.

They said: "This decision does not signify the failure of 101 in Sheffield.

"There is substantial evidence that the service has had a really positive impact on the lives of people across the city, who previously may not have known where to turn to, in order to eradicate anti-social behaviour blighting their local neighbourhoods and communities.

"We are currently assessing the options available to us and will make a decision on what will happen with 101 in Sheffield over the next few weeks.

"The service will continue to be in operation in the city for the time-being."

VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
The sort of issues people use the 101 service to report



SEE ALSO
Thousands call non-emergency line
03 Feb 07 |  South Yorkshire
New police crime line is launched
12 Jun 06 |  South Yorkshire

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