Public sector: Cambridgeshire police appeal for 101 calls

On 1 April, Cambridgeshire Constabulary was due to turn off its 0345 non-emergency number and only use the national single non-emergency number (SNEN) - 101. The force anticipated more calls to the police service centre (PSC), so it launched a campaign to explain 101's purpose.

The police wanted explain 101's purpose
The police wanted explain 101's purpose

Campaign: 101 - 1 call. 0 limit. 1 cost
Client: Cambridgeshire Constabulary
PR team: In-house
Timescale: March-April 2012
Budget: £350



  • To promote 101 as the SNEN
  • To inform people the 0345 number would no longer be in use after 1 April.

Strategy and Plan

The PR team identified ideas it could implement for low, or no cost. Sport Relief was due to take place the weekend before the number was switched off. It used this platform to promote the change, by asking staff to run 101 miles for charity.

The team used its intranet and toilet door advertising and posted a video on YouTube. The team posted a 'tweet of the day' about stupid 101 calls that were not a police matter, using the hashtag #NOT101.

Measurement and Evaluation

The run generated eight pieces of coverage and increased 'likes' on its Facebook page by nearly 30 per cent. The majority of tweets were retweeted by its followers, including local partners and the Home Office. The YouTube video has received 347 views.


The PSC received almost 4,000 fewer calls in 2012 than in the same period in 2011.

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