New 105 non-emergency police phone number announced

There is now a new number to call if your car has been stolen or if someone has damaged your property - it's 10-5.

The new 10-5 police number for non-emergency calls was announced on Friday - the tenth day of the fifth month at 10:05am.

Police Minister Stuart Nash hoping that kind of repetition will make the number as memorable as 111.

"It needs to be completely unforgettable," he said.

It's also got a catchy jingle and police have put a two million dollar marketing budget behind the number to ensure every Kiwi knows it and when to call it.

It doesn't replace 111 - that is still the number for emergencies - but it gives you another option when it isn't urgent. If you need to report a crime which has already happened, like a burglary or property damage and there is no threat, dial 10-5.

"It is so important that people know which number to ring, safety is paramount," said Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

It's okay if you get it wrong because if you ring 10-5 and it is an emergency, staff like Jennifer Fendwick are trained to help.

"When people call the police they don't know what they're doing, they are often in a stressful situation, we are that clear mind for them," she said.

Police receive 900,000 111 calls every year, and of those, 20 percent need an immediate response while another 20 percent need a timely response.

But 60 percent of the 111 calls are not emergency reports.

"So this is hopefully going to divert a decent chunk of those to 10-5 and free up the 111 system for emergencies," said Nash.

That may help police hit their target of answering 90 percent of 111 calls within 10 seconds - a goal they're currently failing to achieve. There is no set goal for answer 10-5 calls.

"We will set some standards when we understand the volume," said Bush.

A volume of calls which is expected to surge with this new number.


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