Devon & Cornwall Police are urging people to think before dialling 999 or 101 both during the festive season and throughout the year.
It says the force’s two contact centres in Plymouth and Exeter receive more than a million calls a year and while many use the service responsibly, there are still a significant number who waste police time.
Here are some of the inappropriate calls received on the non-emergency number, 101.
- Reporting that a budgie had escaped and was in a tree, and could police get it.
- Complaining that some public toilets were closed.
- Asking if it was illegal to urinate in their own garden - if spotted by a drone
Clearly none of these are police matters. While these examples may raise a smile they are unacceptable uses of the 101 service and underline an issue which is increasing call waiting times for callers who genuinely need help.
Other situations when the police are not the best people to call in a non-emergency situation include noisy neighbours, abandoned vehicles, parking issues and dangerous dogs.
You can find out more about who to contact here.
Devon and Cornwall police are asking children to help name their new litter of police puppies.
Competition entrants are being asked to submit their name suggestion along with a Christmas card design - which must begin with the letter 'C'.
The winner will get to meet the puppies. and spend time with a police dog handler.
A 26-year-old man has been arrested in Hayle on suspicion of preparing for an act of terrorism, under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act.
The man, who was arrested last night (Monday), is being questioned by officers from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit (SECTU) at a police station in the Devon and Cornwall area.
The arrest relates to an investigation by SECTU in relation to conflicts overseas and police say it is not linked to any immediate threat to local communities or anywhere in the UK.
I would like to reassure the community that this investigation should have very little impact on local residents.
The arrest was pre-planned and was not made in response to any immediate threat to public safety in Hayle. Our officers will continue to maintain a presence in the area, offering reassurance to the local community.
Staff will continue to work at Penzance Police Station but there'll be no counter for reporting crime or asking about lost items. Officers say they are aware of people's concerns about a lack of face to face police contact.
Over the past couple of weeks I have been made very aware of the sense of feeling around Penzance and Penwith itself and so I how important it is to them to have face to face contact with us. Obviously yesterday was a sad day for the public enquiry office but can I say it was a really sad day when that decision had to be made.
Protests have been happening in Penzance today - outside the town's police station. The station is now closed to the public which means victims of crime can no longer walk in to report incidents. It's one of 11 desks across Devon and Cornwall that's been axed as part of cuts to save millions of pounds.
Eleven police front desks close this weekend across Devon and Cornwall meaning many victims of crime will no longer be able to report an offence at their local police station. The public walk-in areas are being axed as part of cuts to save thousands of pounds across the force area.
In Penzance the enquiry office closes tonight. Local Councillor Tim Dwelly has organised a petition against the move and is leading a protest in the town on Saturday morning.
"We need to have access - it's simply not acceptable to people around here to either have to go to Camborne or to ring a call centre in Devon in the hope of seeing a police officer face to face, we won't have it."
The changes will save the force just over three quarters of a million pounds.
Devon and Cornwall Police say the numbers of people coming in to stations on foot have dwindled.
"Over the years it's really declined in numbers of people walking into enquiry offices, we have over a million calls every year and ways of people want to contact us, very few of those are actually people walking into police stations into the enquiry office. So we want to better engage with the public, but we would rather have our officers and staff out there in the communities rather than have people sat in an enquiry office all the time waiting for the public to come to us."
For many though, the nearest station they can walk into may now be half an hour away.
Police looking for a missing 35-year-old man in Exeter have recovered a body from the water at Exeter Quay.
They were called out on Sunday evening and while searches were underway, officers heard a man had entered the water near Haven Banks.
The police helicopter, police officers and the fire service water rescue team searched the area but were unable to find him.
The dead man's family has been informed.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been called in to investigate.
A man who died after jumping into Sutton Harbour to escape from a police chase has been named as Darren Wakefield.
The 35 year old died on 12th October after being chased by police on suspicion of stealing a bicycle. He was seen entering the water before becoming trapped between a boat and the harbour wall, and died despite efforts by the emergency services to save him.
The medical cause of death is still to be confirmed. Mr Wakefield was unemployed at the time of his death, and married but separated from his wife.
The family of an Exeter man who died in police custody will take part in a rally tomorrow. Thomas Orchard died two years ago after being found in a cell at Heavitree Road Police Station in October 2012.
His family are angry about how long its taken to investigate how he died. Mr Orchard had been arrested in Exeter city centre on suspicion of a public order offence.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate whether any charges should be brought against a custody sergeant, three police officers, two custody detention staff and an agency nurse.
The man died after getting trapped between an old fishing boat and the wall of the harbour in PlymouthRead the full story ›