WEST Yorkshire Police are reminding people to only dial 999 in an emergency.

They are asking the public to consider other means of getting in touch, such as through online reporting services and 101 Live Chat, and to think whether the matter requires the police.

The force has issued the plea after its customer contact centre experienced one of its busiest-ever 24 hours.

Between 6am on Friday, June 17, and 6am the following day, there were a total of 5,140 contacts from the public.

"This was unprecedented and more in line with what we might expect to see on New Year’s Eve – which tends to be our busiest day of the year," said Tom Donohoe, customer contact centre manager.

"With regards to 999 calls, on an average New Year’s Eve we take around 1,850 – during this 24-hour period, we took 2,007.

"We never dissuade anyone from contacting us for legitimate police business, but when contact levels are that high we need to ensure people are contacting us for the right reasons.

"On a daily basis we receive calls that should be for other services, such as local authorities and the RSPCA, and calls that can be handled online."