back to article Vodafone slurps MEELLLIONS for redirecting police hotline calls

Vodafone is making more than £2m a year from public reporting of non-emergency crime, and has just landed another three-year contract - charging 15p per non-emergency call to police. Calls made to the non-emergency "101" number are routed by Cable & Wireless to the nearest police authority and dealt with at public expense. All …


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  1. Pie
    Thumb Up

    Useful number to remember

    I used it to call the local police when on the way to the airport to report a car that I had seen in an 'odd' place. It didn't warrant a 999 call but being able to tell the local police about it was just what I needed, especially as I didn't know who the local police would be as I was out of my area.. The only draw back is that if you had no credit/contract I presume you wouldn't be able to call...

  2. Kevin Johnston

    Ah...bless the good old media

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good rant. Oh, and remember, anyone that disagrees with you must have an agenda or is part of the problem

  3. Jim 59

    Hey Vodaphone

    Hey Vodaphone how much tax you paying out of that £2,000,000 ? Is it going through that empty office you rent in Belguim ?

    1. My Opinion

      Re: Hey Vodaphone

      I doubt "Vodaphone" are paying anyone anything ever.

      Perhaps you mean the company referred to in the article a number of times, which is Vodafone?

      1. My Opinion

        Re: Hey Vodaphone

        Downvoted for pointing out the misspelling of the name of one of the world's largest and best known companies?

        How strange you are.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The government itself is guilty anyway

    How about government services already funded by the taxpayer eg. DVLA using premium rate numbers to grab every penny they can from every road-user !

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: The government itself is guilty anyway

      DVLA Premium rate?

      Driver Licensing Enquiries

      Telephone: 0300 790 6801

      Vehicle Registration and Tax enquiries

      Telephone: 0300 790 6802

      Drivers Medical Enquiries

      Telephone: 0300 790 6806 (car or motorcycle), 0300 790 6807 (bus, coach or lorry)

      I make those to be freephone numbers. Think we've found one of those people that click on the 1st link they see in Google.

      1. Soruk

        Re: The government itself is guilty anyway

        03 numbers are NOT freephone.

        They are charged at the same rate as calling a regular landline, so if you have free calls to landlines, you'll get free calls to 03 numbers. They also come out of inclusive minutes on mobiles.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The government itself is guilty anyway

          I stand corrected.

          However they are certainly not premium rate numbers by any stretch of the imagination.

          We need a humble pie icon!

      2. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: The government itself is guilty anyway

        plus 0300 numbers are taken from any inclusive minutes packages you have on your phone which is a good thing for many people.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The government itself is guilty anyway

          Which for most mobile users on contract actually makes them cheaper than freephone numbers until the new legislation comes into force.

  5. Gordon Pryra

    Is this really a problem?

    Somehow the call needs to get to my phone to the local Plod so they can get the chance to sit on their arse and do nothing.

    Vodaphone do it, but it could be any company. Whoever it is, the service works, it costs me more to phone my banks "free" telephone banking service.....

    The numbers here don't seem to be any more inflated than anything else the Government gives out to its cronies on normal contracts (having seen how much one authority was paying 2E2 for a small SAN with little real support and you get the feeling that this country has the same levels of corruption as somewhere like Nigeria)

    The Mail on Sunday would do better sending out freedom of information requests asking how many children under 12 in each council are suspected of being farmed off for arranged marriages outside the UK. Now that would be a story that would be worth the paper for them to print.

  6. nigel 15

    call 999

    It's free.

    all police stations these days are 0845 too. outrageous really. but what you going to do.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: call 999

      I think you'll find that number is for emergencies only.

  7. Valerion

    Outrage - Company Provides Services, Makes Profit!

    I redid the headline for the Daily Fail.

  8. John Robson Silver badge


    A decent email service would help a bit...

    If it's a crime in progress then 999 is appropriate, if it's not then it can probably wait a couple of minutes to go into an email.

    1. BeerTokens

      Re: Email

      I called the local plod after someone saw fit to steal a £120.00 bottle of plonk. Whilst on the phone they play a message asking you to fill in an on-line form if the issue is not urgent. So off I went and filled in the form, they emailed me back asking to call the 0845 number...

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Email

        £120 bottle of plonk? Dont get many of those in threshers up here.

  9. Mark 'Brain Fart' Berry


    0845 is Local call rate, no matter where you are calling from in the UK from landlines. Not sure about mobile rates. So it's not really pushing the boat out much. Of course I don't think it comes out of your free minutes on mobiles, so maybe not as good as the mentioned 03x numbers in some cases.

    1. Vince

      Re: 0845

      No "local rate", it was "Lo-Call" rate - which happened IIRC to be about the same as a local call, back when calls were always metered.

      Today, it is basically an expensive number - on mobile with a few notable exceptions, and a questionable number on a landline depending on the various providers and tariff combinations you have.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: 0845

      0845 used to be local call rate, about 30 years ago when it was first introduced (as 0345 in 1985). There is no such thing as local call rate now, you pay the same between any two parts of the UK. Call rates in general have gone down a lot over the last 30 years, 0845 rates have not and they are now a lowish cost premium rate number (officially "special services, basic rate"). When dial-up Internet first became popular in about 1998, the money ISPs got from modems calling their 0845 numbers was sufficient to fund the service.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Dial up...

        was popular long before 1998..

  10. Jamie Jones Silver badge


    I always thought "456999" was a general number to get through to the local police force, but a quick googling shows I'm mistaken, and it only appears to apply to the main Swansea cop shop!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 456999

      I've always used "London local exchange code + 1212" for non-emergency calls and it always seems to work; last used 3 or 4 years ago.

      I think the idea sprang from a distant childhood memory of a police radio show called "Whitehall 1212", and an even vaguer memory of XYZ 1212 being printed as the Police number on my Grandmothers seriously ancient Bakelite phone, replete with slide-out pop-up personal phone book, and (personal favourite) one of those half cylinder grille fag holders you used to see in phone boxes. This one was definitely built for comfort, not for speed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tough call

    In the great hierarchy of who to loathe more for being greedy opportunist wankers, its a tough call between the Daily Fail and Vodafone.

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