Suspicious cats, pies on windowsills and out-of-date yoghurts feature in just some of the ridiculous 999 calls Northamptonshire Police receives on a daily basis.
More than 1,100 calls a day are made to 999 in Northants but only up to 400 are emergencies, with many of the others wasting time and resources, according to the force.
Once, an emergency call was received from a cat mistakenly dialled 999 by rubbing its face on a phone.
But the force says anyone who accidentally calls 999 should explain that to the operator and not just hang up.
Northants Police was taking part in a national Twitter campaign to raise awareness of the proper use of the 999 service called #30Days30WaysUK yesterday (Wednesday, September 11).
Control room operator Tiffany Tolson said in a video: "Unfortunately, not all 999 calls are genuine emergencies.
"Misuse of the 999 service could delay getting help to somebody in a life-threatening situation and there are serious penalties for making hoax calls.
"We're asking everyone to only call 999 when someone's life is at risk, someone is being physically threatened or in immediate danger, if a crime is in progress or if the offenders are still nearby, or if there's a road traffic collision causing serious personal injury or danger to others.
"For anything else, please use our non-emergency 101 number or report online at northants.police.uk/reportonline."
Some of the examples Northants Police gave of inappropriate 999 calls:
- Is it safe to eat an out of date yoghurt?
- My son is in custody and we want to know where he has put the TV remote control.
- I’ve been followed home by a cat.
- I need to know what the time is.
- I’ve had my nails done and I'm not happy with them. Can you come to the salon?
- I left a pie on the windowsill which has attracted flies. Can I still eat it?