Page last updated at 12:15 GMT, Sunday, 28 December 2008

'Ridiculous' 999 calls revealed

Telephone
One man called 999 to complain about a pizza order

A priest dialled 999 when staff at Manchester Airport's WHSmith would not allow him to use the toilet, police have revealed.

It was one of many "frivolous" calls made to Greater Manchester Police (GMP), which dealt with 5,000 emergency reports over Christmas.

The force has urged the public not to dial 999 for "ridiculous" reasons.

One woman complained she was unable to get through to Strictly Come Dancing to vote for Tom Chambers in the final.

While a hoax caller reported Santa was breaking into a house with Rudolf.

People calling 999 for non-emergencies and silly pranks can have a major impact on members of the public who need the police
Supt Karen Lee, Greater Manchester Police

Police also received a 999 call from a man who complained staff at a takeaway had wrongly put mushrooms on his pizza.

Another caller dialled the number to ask for chemist opening times.

Supt Karen Lee said: "I don't want a person to call 999 and be delayed because someone else is calling to report something that is not an emergency or, worse still, that is completely ridiculous and a deliberate joke.

"People dialling 999 for non-emergency calls can put lives at risk because it could delay someone who really needs urgent help getting through."

During the festive period officers have so far dealt with 72 hoax calls.

With New Year's Eve the force's "busiest night", police have warned they do not want to have their time wasted.

Supt Lee added: "People calling 999 for non-emergencies and silly pranks can have a major impact on members of the public who need the police."

Last new year GMP dealt with more than 3,000 emergency calls in six hours after midnight, and thousands more were taken on the force's non-emergency numbers.



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