Non-emergency police call charges to be scrapped from next year
The 15p charge for calling the police's non-emergency 101 number will be scrapped from April 2020.
The 101 number is used to report crimes that don't need an emergency response – for example, if your car's been stolen or your property's been vandalised.
Calling 101 connects you to your local police force or a force of your choice, and currently costs 15p per call regardless of the time of day or the length of call.
But from April 2020, callers will be able to ring the number for free. The Home Office says it's also funding police forces to create a new website, known as the Single Online Home, so the public can contact the police and report crimes online.
To make cheap UK and international calls, see our guide.
How can I report a crime?
Of course, in an emergency you should always call 999, which is free. But if it's not an emergency, you should use the 101 number or go directly to your local police station.
You may also have other options depending on what type of crime you're reporting – for example, if you're reporting a hate crime and don't want to go to the police directly, you can report it online. You can also report scams on the Action Fraud website.
And if you want to report a crime anonymously, you can call Crimestoppers for free on 0800 555 111 or make a report on its website.
There's full information on how to report different types of crime at Police.uk.
What does the Government say?
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: "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.
"Scrapping the charge for making a 101 call will benefit millions of people every year – especially the vulnerable.
"We are also continuing to work with the police to develop a new website, the Single Online Home, to provide the public with the option of reporting crime online."