Cambridgeshire Constabulary received thousands fewer calls to its non-emergency number last month following a campaign promoting online reporting.

In December, 18,756 calls were made to 101 – 12 per cent lower than the monthly average of 21,225.

In fact, December set the record for the lowest number of 101 calls recorded in a month for the whole of 2023.

The dip in 101 calls followed the launch of the force’s Save Time, Report Online campaign, which aims to reduce pressure on call handlers by encouraging the public to use self-service, online reporting methods for non-emergencies.

Superintendent Neil Billany, head of demand, said: “Our phone lines are under constant pressure, with a monthly average of 21,019 calls to 101, on top of 13,247 calls to 999.

“Non-urgent crime can be reported through our website, or you can speak to operators using live web chat. Both of these follow the exact same process as calling 101.

“Reporting online saves us and the public time. If more people reported crime through the force website, there would be less traffic on the 101 line, lower waiting times for people who do need to call, and our call handlers would be freed up to assist those in serious emergencies.”

Supt Billany said reporting non-urgent crime online was fast and convenient and he was delighted to see the public using the service more.

He said: “The reduction in 101 calls in December meant call handling staff could focus on helping those in the most serious circumstances.

“The Save Time, Report Online campaign will continue in 2024, and I hope the uptake of our online services continues in the coming months.”

Although calling 101 to report non-emergencies is encouraged for those who do not have internet access, for those that do, reporting online can often be a quicker and more efficient process, as there are no wait times as there might be during busy periods on 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

To learn more about the campaign visit the dedicated page on the force’s website.