Devon and Cornwall Police is urging the public to think before making an emergency call this festive season.

The force is releasing recordings of "ridiculous" 999 calls in the hope it raises awareness.

It's hoped the campaign will help officers manage the increase in demand on resources, and help emergency contact centres in Exeter and Plymouth.

According to the force, the number of 999 calls each Christmas and New Year increases - with many not necessarily warranting the emergency number.

Credit: PA

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Devon and Cornwall Police is creating a series of videos to highlight what they call the "ridiculous nature" of some of the calls they receive.

Each video accompanies a real recording of an inappropriate call to the 999 emergency number. One example is a call from a man whose bank card had been swallowed by a cashpoint:

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In November alone police say they have seen a 23 percent increase in emergency calls compared to this time last year.

Chief Supt Dan Evans from Devon and Cornwall Police said they have also seen a demand in non-genuine 999 calls.

999 calls take precedence for the force, and we will always prioritise these calls. However we have seen an increased demand in the numbers of 999 calls both genuine and not that we have received this year already, and we are expecting this to increase further during the festive season.

Chief Supt Dan Evans, Devon and Cornwall Police

The Chief Supt added: "We aim to answer 999 calls within 10 seconds, but if operators find themselves continually tied up with improper calls this prevents us dealing with genuine emergencies".

The force hopes potential callers will consider other platforms to help resolve non-emergency situations, including the Devon and Cornwall Police website which includes a number of online contact methods.

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