A MAN rang 999 to report that a takeaway was closed and became abusive and started swearing after being told it was not an emergency, police said.

The man told the North Yorkshire Police call handler that the takeaway is licensed and should be open.

He was advised by the call handler that this was not an emergency and that he should not call 999.

He then became abusive and started swearing.

The call was made late on New Year's Day.

Other recent examples of inappropriate calls to the North Yorkshire Police control room include a 14-year-old boy whose parents refused to give him a lift home when he missed the train and told him to ring the police.

Meanwhile, a member of the public who was bored rang 999 17 times to tell the force, and someone whose partner had been arrested wanted to complain about it, but they had no credit on their phone, so rang 999 repeatedly.

North Yorkshire Police said it takes about 1,300 calls per day and that most are genuine police incidents, but some are not.

Last week, ahead of New Year’s Eve, the force urged members of the public to only call 999 with genuine emergencies and the non-emergency number 101 with genuine police matters.

It said this applies at all times of the year, but more so during peak times such as New Year’s Eve.

Chief inspector Charlotte Bloxham, head of the force control room, commented: "People should not be put off calling 999 if they have a genuine emergency, if they are in danger or if they are witnessing a crime in progress. But sadly some people abuse it for amusement or for completely inappropriate reasons that are not police related. We ask that we are only called for real police matters to ensure that people in genuine need can get through and get the help they need.

“It isn’t just a case of receiving an inappropriate call and then putting the phone down, for example the call from the boy whose parents refused to give him a lift resulted in a further three calls being made by the control room to ensure his safety. Two to his mother and one back to him. This took up valuable time that should have been used for genuine police-related matters. It’s the same with silent 999 calls, often made from mobile phones in people’s pockets. We do not ignore them and always call the number back to ensure they do not require the police. Again, this is taking up time that should be used for genuine emergencies."

North Yorkshire Police said that there has been a marked improvement in its call answering times over the past two months following a recent dip in performance.