THE 15p charge for calling the police’s non-emergency 101 number will be scrapped.

The Home Office has announced that it will scrap the 15p charge from April 2020 and spend £5million a year to fund the phone service in the country.

Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion said: “I very much welcome the announcement that the charges for calling the police non-emergency 101 number will be scrapped.

“This decision marks an important and valuable step forward for victims of crime. I hope that those who were reluctant to call previously will feel more comfortable picking up the phone.”

Home Secretary and Bromsgrove MP, Sajid Javid, said abolishing the service charge would benefit “millions of people every year.”

In a tweet, Mr Javid said: “I have announced today that I am scrapping charges for making a 101 call. Victims should not have to pay to report crimes.

“This move will benefit millions of people every year – especially the vulnerable.”

According to the BBC, Mr Javid said: “It’s vital members of public have confidence in the police and are able to report any non-emergency incidents in a convenient and accessible way.”

He added: “We are also continuing to work with the police to develop a new website, the Single Online Home, to provide the public with the option of reporting crime online.”

Baroness Newlove - who is responsible for promoting the interests of victims and witnesses - said she was "pleased" the Home Office had "listened and taken action".

"I also want police and the Home Office to consider how to improve the speed and quality of responses so that the public have full confidence in this important frontline service," she added.

Vodafone will scrap the charge in the next week for its pay-as-you-go customers.

The Home Office is also funding the creation of a new website where the public will be able to contact the police and report crimes.

The service, named the Single Online Home (SOH), will be fully launched in the summer.

The 101 number was introduced in December 2011 and is used to report crimes that don’t need an emergency response such as criminal damage, anti-social behaviour or stolen vehicles.

The aim of the service, which receives around 30 million calls annually, is to free-up calls to 999.

Calling 101 connects you to your local police force and currently costs 15p per call regardless of the time of day or the length of time you spend on the phone