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Telephone Services

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 201387, tabled on 18 June 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many telephone lines with the prefix (a) 0845, (b) 0844 and (c) 0843 his Department (i) operates and (ii) sponsors; how many calls each such number has received in the last 12 months; and whether alternative numbers charged at BT local rates are available in each such case.

Answered on

23 June 2014

There has been a 79% fall in the Department's use of higher-rate numbers since 2009.

The Department has received no revenue from higher rate telephone numbers for the period under review.

The information held centrally for the public use of (a) 0845, (b) 0844 and (c) 0843 telephone numbers operated (i) and (ii) sponsored by the Ministry of Justice are as follows:

(a) 0845 numbers – 32

(b) 0844 numbers – 2

(c) 0843 numbers – 0

The majority of these numbers are operated by the County Court Business Centre (CCBC).

Information on volumes for calls to higher-rate telephone numbers for the last twelve months is not systematically collected by the service providers, and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Nineteen higher rate numbers in the CCBC are in the process of being replaced by 0300 numbers. The four 0845 numbers receiving the highest volumes of calls in the CCBC are being discontinued on 1 August 2014, and when enquirers call these numbers they are being advised to contact an alternative 0300 number.

As stated in previous answers to parliamentary questions, the Department's approach is not to use higher rate numbers and instead, wherever possible, to assign 0300 numbers, for which the tariff is similar to calling an 01 or 02 (geographic) number, whether the caller is using a fixed line or a mobile phone.

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