Police are warning people to think twice before dialling 999 on New Year's Eve, as they expect the number of calls they receive to significantly increase.
It's always the busiest night of the year for emergency services as people celebrate to welcome in the new year.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) receive 80 per cent more 999 calls and 24 per cent more 101 calls than an average Friday night, between 9pm and 7am.
GMP say its staff will be working around the clock to answer calls and protect the most vulnerable people in Greater Manchester.
But the force is asking people to think before they dial and keep the lines free for those who really need it.
Police are reminding people that when an incident is not urgent, there are alternative ways of contacting them to help keep call handlers free to deal with emergencies.
You can report crime, anti-social behaviour and incidents that are not ongoing online via the GMP website. For those with internet access, this is the best way to make a non-urgent report.
In addition, contact can be made via Live Chat on the GMP website. This can be used for non-emergency queries and reports throughout the night.
Superintendent Mark Kenny, who runs GMP’s call handling teams, said: "New Year’s Eve is the busiest night of the year for us, and this year we are asking everyone to think twice about the way they get in touch with GMP.
"We acknowledge many of our residents understand that 999 is for emergency calls only, but we do still receive a high volume of 999 calls for incidents which are not an emergency.
"Given the demand on New Year’s Eve, one call handler taking a misplaced call can have a serious knock-on effect, and has the potential to delay us from responding to genuine emergencies.
"We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable New Year’s Eve, but we encourage everyone to keep safe, and plan ahead. If you are going out, stay with friends and family, keep your valuables safe and plan your journey home.
"Alcohol fuelled violence tends to be the largest demand on New Year, so drink responsibly, look after one another and get in touch with us if you need help using the GMP website on line report, Live Chat or 101 to report incidents which are not an emergency and 999 if there’s an immediate threat to life or property."
Police are reminding people to use 999 responsibly by only calling:
- When life is in danger, someone is seriously injured, someone is using or threatening to use violence.
- When a crime is in progress.
- When serious damage is being caused to property.
- Or in any other circumstances where an immediate police response is required.
For all other reports in the first instance, you can report them via the GMP website, Live Chat or call 101 if you do not have internet access.