The new national non-emergency police number 101 is now active in Whitby and North Yorkshire.
Residents will be able to call 101 for non-emergency issues such as minor traffic collisions, criminal damage or if they want to speak to a local neighbourhood officer or PCSO about an issue affecting their community.
101 is being introduced in the North Yorkshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham and Northumbria force areas as part of a national roll-out designed to make it easier for people to contact the police.
Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “101 is a memorable number which will make it easier for people to report non-emergency crime and anti-social behaviour, as well as contacting the local Safer Neighbourhood Team.
“It is designed to make the police even more accessible to our communities while at the same time reducing pressure on the 999 system, meaning every caller receives the best possible service.”
The new number will replace current non-emergency numbers for North Yorkshire Police’s 0845 60 60 24 7 - but calls will still be answered in the same Force Control Room in York by the same police personnel.
When calling 101, the system will determine the caller’s location and play a recorded message announcing the police force they’re being connected to.
If they are on a boundary between two or more forces, the recorded message will give them a choice of which force to be connected to.
People should continue to call 999 in an emergency - when a crime is in progress, there is danger to life or violence is being used or threatened and local councils should still be contacted on their existing phone numbers for issues such as dog fouling or litter.
In the meantime DCC Tim Madgwick has been appointed to the role permanently after serving as temporary DCC for the last six months and assistant chief constable between October 2009 and June 2011.
Mr Madgwick said: “I am delighted and so incredibly honoured to be offered the opportunity to serve the people of North Yorkshire and the City of York as the Deputy Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police.
“This is my home force, having lived in the area since 1985, and nothing could give me greater pride or pleasure of continuing to deliver the best possible service for our communities as DCC.
“I remain immensely proud of our officers and staff, and thank them and the Police Authority for their continued support throughout my service.”
Mr. Madgwick has been with North Yorkshire Police for 23 years; having joined in 1988 at the age of 30 after careers in both education and private business.