Greater Manchester Police in 999 time-waster warning

Image caption,
Police will be out in force across Greater Manchester on New Year's Eve

Police in Greater Manchester are urging people only to call 999 in a genuine emergency after being inundated with time-wasters over Christmas.

One man dialled 999 after finding out of date milk on a shelf, while another called to report his new bed had not been delivered.

The force took 1,287 emergency calls over the Christmas period and said only a quarter were real emergencies.

Staff were bracing themselves for another busy night on New Year's Eve.

Measures have been put in place to deal with the increased demand on 999 services, including extra staff.

Supt Karan Lee, of Greater Manchester Police's (GMP) call handling branch, said: "New Year is one of the busiest nights for the force and I am appealing for members of the public to only call 999 in an emergency.

"Last year we took 2,281 999 calls in just the first six hours of the New Year and we are expecting similar volumes this year.

"People should only call 999 if a life is at risk, somebody is being physically threatened, a crime is currently happening or there is a road traffic accident causing danger or injury to others.

"For all other calls people should ring 0161 872 50 50 or contact their local neighbourhood policing team."

Ms Lee said the vast majority of calls were answered within five seconds and officers would be sent in an emergency.

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