POLICE in Greater Manchester are urging the public to think before dialling 999 after a surge in non-emergency calls.

Last weekend almost a thousand more 999 calls were made to the force, compared to the same weekend last year.

One call included a man calling police 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 one in the vehicle and also a man ringing to report a set of temporary traffic lights that weren't working.

Chief superintendent Paul Clements, head of GMP's operational communications branch, said: "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."

Non-emergency reports can be made by visiting GMP's website with police urging: “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. Options including anti-social behaviour, road traffic incidents and lost or stolen vehicles can then be selected.

For anyone having difficulty using the system, there is a live chat function located in the bottom right of the screen.