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New local police phone numbers 

Residents in Waterloo and Southwark are being encouraged to contact their local borough police number instead of 999 for all 'non-emergency' situations in the latest advertising campaign being run by the Metropolitan Police.

Last year the MPS received over two and a half million 999 emergency calls across the capital and but only about 20 per cent were classified as requiring an immediate police response.

As part of the Met's continuing commitment to relieve pressure on the emergency 999 service, six boroughs are being targeted to pilot the best ways of distributing a leaflet which encourages people to contact their 24-hour local borough police.

Inspector Carl Widdison, of the MPS Communications Programme, said: "Inappropriate use of the 999 service causes delay to genuine emergency calls and it results in extra pressure being placed on police resources.

"In situations such as a stolen bike, vandalised car, lost credit cards or mobile phones we are asking people to take a few seconds to ask themselves: 'Do I require an immediate police response?' If the answer is 'no' or 'probably not' and they contact their local borough they could be helping officers to respond quicker to emergency situations.

"People often say they do not know, or cannot find, the number of their local police so we are trying to make it easier for the public to retain the number by providing them with a keep sake which should be kept in a safe place ideally by their phone or in their wallet or purse. This local borough police number should be programmed into all phones including mobiles".

During the campaign people living within the six pilot boroughs can expect to receive police helmet shaped leaflet, with a detachable card.

• Lambeth (including Waterloo) local police number: 020 7326 1212

• Southwark local police number: 020 7378 1212

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