TIM DREW: Know when to call the number

AT a time when pressures on our police can seldom have been higher, one of the ways in which we can all help to reduce these is to make greater use of the non-emergency number 101 and ease pressure on 999 call handlers (only one in four calls requires an emergency response).

It is the number to call if, for example:

n you discover that your car or property has been stolen or damaged

n you suspect drug use or dealing in your neighbourhood;

n you wish to report a minor traffic collision

n you wish to inform the police about crime in your area

Sadly, and ever since its introduction in 2011, a number of misconceptions have persisted which have inhibited public use of the non-emergency number.

One survey highlighted the feeling by some respondents that they would be wasting their time in calling as no action would be taken; others said that they would call 999 irrespective of the circumstances to ensure that they got a quick response.

The truth is that accurate records are made for all relevant calls to the police; the telephony system determines where your call is located and

directs you to the nearest police force, making for more accurate monitoring.

This enables the police to identify crime hotspots the more readily and to allocate their resources accordingly.

A neighbourhood panel meeting for Salvington ward will be held at The Coffee Shop, New Life Church, Greenland Road, between 7pm and 8pm on September 17, with

PCSO Graeme Foster’s surgery between 5.30pm and 6.30pm and the Selden ward neighbourhood panel meeting between 6.30pm and 7.30pm, both taking place at East Worthing Community Centre, in Pages Lane, that same evening.

Between 6pm and 7.30pm the following evening, PCSO Nicola Burstow (Broadwater) and Steve Martin of Worthing Homes will be available for a chat during a walk covering Angola Road, Sackville Road, Warner Road and King Edward Avenue.