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Last Updated: Monday, 19 November 2007, 11:27 GMT
Bid begins to save 101 crime line
101 logo
The number has allowed residents in Cardiff to report community problems
An attempt to save a hotline in Cardiff for reporting anti-social behaviour and low-level crime has begun.

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 is to stop funding the scheme from March 2008.

Those involved in the scheme will meet on Tuesday to try to identify other sources for the annual 1.5m running costs of the 101 call centre.

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.

The 101 scheme in Cardiff currently takes around 15,000 calls a month and employs 51 full-time staff.

By relieving pressure on the 999 system, South Wales Police says it has been able to redeploy 25 extra officers to neighbourhood policing in the capital.

The centre has also begun to deal with calls made to South Wales Police stations outside the Cardiff area.

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

One local resident, Ron Morgan from Cardiff ,said parties, urination and defecation had diminshed in his area of the city because of the service.

Man making telephone call
The partnership behind Cardiff 101 hope more funding can be found

"It's given me security, I live on my own, it's like having another family, it's having somebody to run to that will listen and deal with the problem for you," Mr Morgan.

Councillor Judith Woodman, deputy leader of Cardiff , told BBC Radio Wales' Eye on Wales programme that in the wake of the recent financial settlement from the Welsh Assembly Government, it would be tough to put a rescue package together.

"As a council we would have to put in at least 450,000. We and the police do not have that amount of money.

"I would hope that the Welsh Assembly Government would seriously consider stepping in and putting in some funding towards this," Ms Woodman said.

"The Home Office has actually praised the way we set up 101. We are getting more results than all the other areas.

She added that the Home Office had not given them enough time to try to find partners.

"I will do everything I can to try and get more partners who can contribute to the pot to keep this going - but at the moment it doesn't look very good," Ms Woodman said.

The Home Office said while it acknowledged the many benefits achieved by the 101 areas, it had to target its resources and contribute most to the protection of the public and security of the country.

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

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

Eye on Wales, BBC Radio Wales, Monday, 19 November at 1830



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Local people had welcomed the service



SEE ALSO
101 crime line funding withdrawn
15 Nov 07 |  South East 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

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