A “COLOSSAL number” of 999 calls were received by North Yorkshire Police last weekend - with more expected as the World Cup and warm weather continue.

In the 24 hours between 7am on Saturday and 7am on Sunday - before, during and after England’s 2-0 win against Sweden - the Force Control Room (FCR) received 487 emergency calls.

The force said the number of 999 calls had risen by about 30 per cent in just one month, with high numbers on June 16 - which coincided with a race meeting - and June 24 - the day of England’s 6-1 win against Panama.

Police said the number of calls placed “huge demand on resources”, were well above the average - which is between 200 and 300 - and reflected figures usually only seen on a busy New Year’s Eve.

Chief Inspector Charlotte Bloxham, head of the FCR, said the summer was always a busy time for the force, while “the recent high temperatures and events such as local race meetings, concerts and the World Cup”, have led to “increasingly high demand”.

Chief Insp Bloxham said: “We want to see our communities embracing the glorious weather and enjoying the events taking place across the county in the next few weeks, however we must ask that people enjoy themselves responsibly. Most revellers in towns and cities enjoy a few drinks in the sun, including football fans who have relished the ongoing success of England during this World Cup tournament, and return home without any issues.

“There are a small few, however, that ruin it for many by becoming aggressive or violent after too much to drink. We want to convey a clear message that we will continue to work around the clock to keep people safe and those who cause alarm or harm to others will be removed from the streets.”

The number of non-emergency calls to 101 usually average between 500 and 650 a day, but on Saturday the force took 729.

Police said the significant demand was set to continue this week, with fans expected to crowd bars and pubs for today’s England v Croatia World Cup semi-final. With the Great Yorkshire Show, Seamer Fair, and - later in the week - York Races also taking place, the rates of calls to the FCR show “no signs of slowing”.

Last year, the force faced heavy criticism after callers were left on hold or unable to reach an operator for lengthy periods of time, leading the force and police and crime commissioner to invest heavily in the FCR, and the announcement in March that £3 million would be spent on a major upgrade, new building and 32 new full-time staff.

The force said emergency calls were now taken within an average of 8.3 seconds and non-emergency calls answered in an average of two minutes and 46 seconds.