Need the police? Dial 101 any time it isn’t 999

101 makes it quicker and easier to contact the police when you don't need an emergency response


For example:

  • if you’ve had a minor traffic accident
  • if your property has been vandalised
  • if your car has been stolen
  • if you suspect drug dealing
  • if you’ve witnessed a crime
  • if you’ve seen a missing person
  • if you need crime prevention advice
  • if you want to speak to a local police officer


101 replaces all local police station numbers with one easy-to-remember number, which you can use to contact police anywhere in the country. Existing local phone numbers will be phased out gradually.


101 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

It costs a flat rate of 15p per call from landline and mobile networks, no matter what time of day or how long you are on the phone.


When you dial 101, the system will work out your location and connect you to the service centre covering your area.


Using 101 should make the police more accessible while reducing pressure on the 999 system.


Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech-impaired callers can access the service via TextRelay on 1 800 1 101.


In an emergency always dial 999 - when someone is in danger, a crime is in progress or a suspect is nearby.



Frequently Asked Questions


What is 101?

101 is the new national phone number to contact your local police, any time it isn’t 999.


101 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


What should 101 be used for?

You should call 101 if you want to talk to your local police officer, get crime prevention advice, or report a crime that does not need an emergency response, for example:

  • if your car has been stolen
  • if your property has been damaged
  • if you suspect drug use or dealing
  • if you want to report a minor traffic collision
  • if you want to give the police information about crime in your area


Does 101 replace 999?

No.  Always call 999 if:

  • someone is threatened or in danger.
  • a crime is happening
  • someone suspected of a crime is nearby
  • someone is injured


Why has 101 been introduced?

101 is designed to improve public access to the police by giving you a single, easy-to-remember phone number, anywhere in the country, for when it’s less urgent than 999.


How does 101 work?

When you call 101, you’ll hear a recorded message to tell you you’re being connected to Police Scotland.  The system will work out your location and connect you to a call handler in the service centre for your local area.  This makes sure staff with local knowledge answer and deal with your call in a way that best meets your needs and the needs of your community.


If the system cannot locate where you are calling from, then you’ll be connected by the operator to the appropriate service centre, where the call will be handled in the normal manner.


Calls to 101 will be prioritised in the same way as calls to existing non-emergency numbers.


If I am deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, can I call 101?

If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or speech-impaired then you can access the service via TextRelay on 1 800 1 101.


If English isn’t my first language, can I still call 101?

Service centre operators have access to professional interpreters who can quickly translate if you cannot speak, or have difficulty speaking, English.


How much does it cost to call 101?

Calls to 101 will cost 15p, no matter how long the call, what time of day it is, or whether it is from a landline or mobile phone.


Why is there a charge for calls to 101?

There has always been a cost associated with non-emergency calls. Introducing 101 allows this cost to be standardised across the country and in many cases the single, flat rate charge of 15p replaces previous higher charges. The police do not make any money from calls to 101.


If I regularly speak to a specific police contact for work purposes, do I now switch to calling 101? 

No.  For business purposes, direct dial numbers should still be used.


What happens if I call 101 in an emergency situation?

If you call 101 and it is deemed to be an emergency, or during the call your situation becomes an emergency, service centre staff are fully trained to deal with all situations.


Is 101 available outside Scotland?

Yes, 101 is a national service that is also available across England and Wales .


What are the benefits of 101?

  • 101 provides one easy-to-remember number to contact the police anywhere in Scotland
  • For the first time there will be a single flat rate charge
  • The cost of the call will be transparent to the public and, in many cases, cheaper than current non-emergency numbers
  • 101 can potentially reduce pressure on the 999 system, allowing the police to prioritise the most urgent calls for help.