Greater Manchester Police release details of 'silly' 999 calls

Image caption Callers reported marmalade theft, a chicken walking down a road and a dog following a woman

Reports of marmalade theft and a chicken walking down a road are amongst "silly prank calls" received by Greater Manchester Police over Christmas.

The force made the information public as it urged people to think twice before dialling 999.

It said if its call handlers have to answer hoax calls it can lead to delays in dealing with genuine requests.

Calls to the 101 non-emergency number included one reporting a character in an ITV soap opera as a murderer.

The calls to the 999 emergency number included a man reporting that "someone robbed my marmalade", a woman saying her sister had brought a stray dog into her house and a man stating that he had seen "a chicken walking down the road".

Emmerdale killing

The caller to the force's non-emergency number who reported the murder of Carl King in Emmerdale gave his name as "Alan Sugar".

He told the operator that he was concerned that "Chaz has been done for it, but... Cameron did it".

The call ended after the man was warned that he could be committing an offence.

Greater Manchester Police said its call handlers receive an average of 1,371 calls each day, and on New Year's Eve last year there were 3,016.

The force's Diane Grandidge said Christmas and New Year were "the busiest times of the year for our team, which is why we would urge those making silly prank calls or thoughtless requests to think twice".

"It is these thoughtless acts and deliberate jokes that can cost lives as that single action can have an impact on the swiftness of the police's response to a real emergency," she said.

The force asked people with general inquiries or who wanted to report non-urgent crimes to dial 101.

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