Expensive 0845 numbers for major incidents

Meeting: 
MQT on 2007-01-30
Session date: 
January 30, 2007
Reference: 
2007/0090
Question By: 
Dee Doocey
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Do you condemn the decision of Thames Valley Police to set up a 0845 number for relatives and friends of those who were killed and injured in the National Express coach crash on 3 January 2007. Can you assure me that this practice does not and will not ever occur in London?

Answer

Answer for Expensive 0845 numbers for major incidents

Answer for Expensive 0845 numbers for major incidents

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I understand that 0845 calls from landlines are usually charged at UK standard local rate. Therefore, after an incident, callers from many parts of the UK could benefit from not paying for a higher national rate call.The MPS agrees with Central Office of Information (COI) better practice guidance on telephone numbering for public bodies, and participates in the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) National Mutual Aid Telephony System (NMATS), which has 0800 freephone numbers reserved for future use. The cost of 0800 calls is borne by whoever operates the service. A geographic number (0207) will also be provided for callers outside of the UK. The caller pays for such calls, the rate depending on where they are calling from.The MPS also provides or operates other freephone services, for example, Emergency 999, Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 and our Anti-Terrorist Helpline 0800 789 321.