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THE police have made it easier for people to contact them by changing their non-emergency number to 101.

The new number, which replaces 0845 6060606, has come into force today and is easy to call to report a crime that has already happened, ask for crime prevention advice or give the police information.

When people call the 101 number the operator will take down the information about what has happened and, if necessary, arrange an appointment for an officer to come and see them. It is not the number to call in an emergency.

As well as calling 101 or 999 the public can also contact their local Neighbourhood Policing Team, report minor crime online, visit a police station or attend a PACT meeting. Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired people can use textphone 18001 101. If people call the 0845 number they will hear a recorded message telling them to ring 101 in future.