RESIDENTS trying to report crimes on the police 101 number are hanging up in frustration after long waits.

Reporting anti-social behaviour and vandalism to police is a hot topic just now in Peeblesshire communities.

Community leaders in Peebles are encouraging residents not to ditch dialling 101 in an effort to get more policing in the town.

It was revealed this month that there is a loss in confidence in the service.

And residents have given up reporting crimes because they are left hanging whilst trying to get through to the call centre.

Community councillor Lawrie Hayworth, said that whilst the community council actively urge people to use the 101 hotline, he says many abandon calls due to waiting times.

He added: “I had to make a 101 call a couple of weeks ago and I waited 20 minutes to get through. I was reporting something that was related to a serious incident, and it wasn’t an emergency in any way, but it was something that I had been involved with as a witness.

“I subsequently have asked one or two others what their experience is calling 101 and my 20 minutes wasn’t atypical and people have waited longer.

“Many people who will see bunch of kids causing havoc and try to report it just give up, I suspect. If they’ve waited 15 minutes, they’ll probably say ‘they’re off now, I’ll not bother’.”

But the community leader fears calls not being reported will mean less police resources for Peebles.

He added: “If people don’t report crimes such as anti-social behaviour it isn’t captured and Police Scotland and the Community Action Team remain unaware that there’s been an issue.

"There’s a question over resourcing within the call centre and the call management, but I would still encourage everyone that in order to evidence the need for the resource in the town that we do phone 101 and report incidents that arise.”