POLICE have urging people to think twice before dialling 999 after receiving a call from a customer complaining about their KFC being closed.

After a national closure of the fast-food restaurant chain last week, a man phoned Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to say he "had an emergency."

He said: "I do not know how you feel about this but KFC is closed and I am not entirely happy.

"I have to go to Burger King now."

At this point, the call handler recognised it was not an urgent matter and warned the man she was going to end the conversation.

Before she did, the man asked her who else he can contact about the issue.

Superintendent Mark Kenny, who oversees GMP’s call handling team, said: “While some will think this is a harmless prank or joke I want to reiterate the severity of this – we had 74 calls to 999 and 154 to 101 during the hour this came in, all of which needed our full attention.

“Our hard working call handlers answered all but one of the emergency calls but 21 non-emergencies went unanswered.

"It is not a stretch to say that, had this man not selfishly called for such a ridiculous reason, we would have been able to help more people who had a real reason to pick up the phone during that time.

“We work as hard as we can to answer as many calls as possible but people like this, and others who either misuse the service or call us for reasons they shouldn’t be, put real strain on our already stretched teams.

“At the same time this call came in officers were dealing with a multiple road traffic collision with people trapped, a welfare check after a disturbance in someone’s home, a large group of youths drinking and causing disturbance and the aftermath of an armed robbery, as well as other incidents.

"These are the things we are here to help you with, and we want to be able to.

“Please think before you pick up the phone.

"Only use 999 where there’s an immediate threat to life or property, and only call 101 to report a crime that’s already happened.

"For anything else, take a look at our website at gmp.police.uk/GMP4U for tips on how to best to get in touch with the right people for your problem.”