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Woman's 999 call over playful cat

29 December 09 13:34 GMT

A woman made an emergency 999 call to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to say her cat was "doing her head in" because it was playing with string.

The force has released audio footage of the call to remind people that the 999 service should not be abused.

The woman said it was an emergency as it had "been going on for two hours".

Between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, GMP said it received 1,377 999 calls, but only a fraction were genuine emergencies.

In another call a man contacted emergency services to say he was stuck on a patch of ice in a street in Bolton and was too scared to go forwards or backwards.

'Silly pranks'

GMP's head of call handling, Supt Karan Lee, said: "We are still expecting a high volume of 999 calls on New Year's Eve.

"Research tells us that a very high percentage of these will not actually be related to an emergency.

"I urge people to think first and only dial 999 in an emergency, where there is threat to life or property, so that we can focus on the real emergencies."

She added: "Silly pranks can have a major impact on members of the public who need the police.

"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, a deliberate joke."

Last new year, GMP's call handlers dealt with more than 2,400 emergency calls in the six hours after midnight.

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