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Herts Police are reminding us to only call 999 if there's a genuine emergency, following a spike in inappropriate calls over the busy football weekend.

Operators took a significant number of calls on Saturday, which were similar to the levels seen on New Year's Eve - one of the Force's busiest days of the year.

On Saturday, the Force Control Room received 757 emergency calls and on Sunday there were 630. The Constabulary says this was down to a combination of the heatwave and World Cup celebrations getting out of hand and turning sour.

One person called the emergency number to complain that they were hot, while another called to ask police to attend because a taxi driver wanted his fare paid in advance.

Someone else called '999' to report two large birds seen flying above her house, which she believed were bald eagles.

Superintendent Mick Trotman, who leads on Public Contact, said: "Disappointingly a number of callers were using the 999 number either irresponsibly or inappropriately, which put additional pressure on our hard working call handlers during an extremely busy period.

This is not only incredibly frustrating for staff in the FCR who are working really hard but more importantly it could delay us in getting help to those who are in desperate need, often facing life or death situations".

Superintendent Richard Liversidge added: "So far the majority of Hertfordshire's residents have been enjoying our World Cup success and the unusual summer heatwave in a responsible and safe way and I hope this continues.

We, of course, want people to support England and have a good time while doing so and are sharing some advice to help ensure that everyone enjoys tomorrow night. Please keep the following in mind:

If you're drinking alcohol make sure you don't drink too much, plan you way home ahead of going out and don't drink and drive.

The combination of alcohol and the heatwave means that people can become dehydrated much more quickly than usual so please keep yourself topped up with non-alcoholic drinks. Also, remember that if you've been drinking the night before you might still be over the legal drink drive limit on Thursday morning.

As part of our efforts to ensure everyone has a safe and trouble free World Cup you can expect to see increased police presence in town centres across the county during England matches".


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