Crisis Hit Home Office Abandons Cardiff's 101 Service

2007 Tachwedd 15 12:00 AM

Labour's Home Office have pulled the plug on Cardiff's highly successful anti-social behaviour busting helpline. The Home Office has announced it will no longer directly fund the operation of the 101 service, despite all evidence showing that the scheme has been a success.

Cardiff was one of the areas chosen to trial the 101 scheme last year, jointly funded by the Home Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government and was originally intended to be a pilot for an all-Wales scheme.

Cardiff Central MP Jenny Willott and AM Jenny Randerson are "appalled" at the Labour Government's decision, which will damage attempts to tackle anti-social behaviour in the city.

Jenny Willott MP said:

"The 101 service has been a great success with the people of Cardiff. Yet the Labour government is pulling the plug.

"Around 10 million 999 calls were made to the police in 2004, 70% of these were not genuine emergencies. There are now 40% fewer non emergency calls to 999 in Cardiff.

"The 101 number reduces pressure on the 999 service by dealing with problems that do not require an immediate response such as noisy neighbours and graffiti. Tackling these sorts of issues through the 101 service really makes a difference to the quality of life of my constituents.

"It is interesting to note that funding is being pulled not because of any lack of success but because they haven't got enough money. Maybe the increase in the cost of ID cards is to blame?

Jenny Randerson AM added:

"When I visited the 101 centre in Cardiff I was impressed by how professional the team were and how police advice was constantly on hand. I was also impressed by how the data collected was being used to predict and prevent low level crime. I listened as dozens of people were reassured and their problem set on the road to being solved.

"It will be virtually impossible for the Council to continue the service without help from central government. If Labour had spent fewer resources on unnecessary laws and botched police reorganisations there would have been more left to improve the quality of life within our communities.

"The crisis - hit Home Office even has the gall to suggest that local authorities should fund 101 services , which following on from the Welsh budget settlement is a real kick in the teeth."

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