Police in Greater Manchester are urging the public to think before dialling 999 for non-emergency matters and instead report online ahead of the bank holiday weekend
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Recently the force has seen a large increase in operational demand, which has resulted in huge rises in 999 calls.
Last weekend (24/25 April 2021) almost a thousand more 999 calls were made to the force, compared to the same weekend last year.
Unfortunately too many of these calls were not emergencies.
One call included a man dialling 999 after he had put fuel in his vehicle but did not have the means to pay as he had left his wallet at home. Others included someone ringing to report a car indicator that had been flashing for an hour with no occupant in the vehicle and also a man ringing to report a set of temporary traffic lights that weren't working.
Tying up the emergency line in this way stops us from responding to people whose lives are in danger.
Non-emergency reports can be made with relative ease by visiting GMP's website so, ahead of the bank holiday weekend, the message from police is clear: If it's not 999, report it online.
Online reports can be made by visiting GMP's website and clicking the 'Report' button on the homepage. This will then give you lots of options including anti-social behaviour, road traffic incidents and lost or stolen vehicles.
For anyone having difficulty using the system, there is a live chat function located in the bottom right of the screen where you can talk to us online.
Chief Superintendent Paul Clements, Head of GMP's Operational Communications Branch, said: "Ahead of the bank holiday weekend, I am urging Greater Manchester to only dial 999 in an emergency. We receive too many 999 calls that are not emergencies.
"Although I'm sure some of these calls were made with the best of intentions, the stark reality is that by tying up the emergency line with a non-urgent call, you could be harming our ability to answer a cry for help from somebody in desperate need or delay our response to a serious incident.
"Therefore our message this weekend is clear. If it's not 999, report it online.
"Our online reporting services are a convenient and effective way to make non-urgent reports to the police. The service can be easily accessed by visiting the GMP website and clicking on the reporting button before selecting the option you need.
"Please only call 999 if it's an emergency."