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31 December 2011, 10:17
People across Greater Manchester are being warned only to dial 999 if it's a real emergency. It comes after police released details of a man who called up for help defrosting a turkey.
A man dialled 999 to ask Greater Manchester Police how long it would take to defrost his Christmas turkey.
GMP have released a recording of the call in a bid to deter others from wasting their time with calls which are not genuine emergencies.
It comes in the run-up to New Year's Eve, the busiest night of the year for officers.
In the call the man asks: "How long do you defrost a turkey for?''
The disgruntled call handler then tells the man that they will arrange to have his phone blocked before asking if he has a "genuine emergency''.
The man replies: "It is an emergency. Do I take the giblets out before I defrost it?''
On average, GMP handles 1,400 emergency calls each day, but last New Year's Eve there were 3,228 - more than twice as many.
Diane Grandidge, GMP's business lead for call handling, said: "The 999 number is only to be used in emergencies where there is a threat to life or property or a crime in progress. I would therefore urge people to think carefully before dialling, as that way we can focus our efforts on real emergencies. With our busiest night approaching we are preparing to receive thousands of emergency calls, and silly pranks or thoughtless requests for assistance can have a major impact on those who need a fast police response. We don't want there to be any delays in dealing with genuine emergencies because of non-emergency calls to 999 or, worse still, deliberate jokes.''
Recent examples of 999 being misused in Manchester include people asking for directions or a lift home, asking where the nearest restaurant is or wishing police a Happy New Year.