An experiment to put every incident handled by one of Britain's biggest police forces on social networking site Twitter was hailed a success today.
Greater Manchester Police published every one of the 3,205 incidents its officers had to deal with in the past 24 hours, which included rapes and ram-raids as well as reports of a rat in a house.
Calls ranged from serious investigations to the trivial, and the Twitter event succeeded in its aim to show what officers have to deal with on a daily basis, the force said.
GMP Chief Constable Peter Fahy said: "The reaction we have received proves that the public perception of modern-day policing was removed from the reality that my officers face.
"We have tried to give a serious message about transparency and how we get that out to the public.
"As well as serious crimes, we deal with many social issues and other incidents that the public are quite surprised about.
"Through this experience we get a better picture that crime is connected to our social issues such as drug use and relationship breakdowns.
"Many of the things we deal with are about the same people: missing people who have been missing 60 or 70 times before or repeat offenders putting demands on public services."
The event comes as police face unprecedented budget cuts, with the Government's impending comprehensive spending review next week.
During the 24-hour experiment, from 5am yesterday to 5am today, the force dealt with emergencies involving serious crimes and trivial calls unrelated to police work.
Calls included reports of a rape, serious injuries to a child, and a ram-raid on a post office as well as a report that there was a rat in a house and that the cat may be responsible.
Another call was from a woman reporting a man shouting "You're gorgeous" at her and a woman who asked for help to sue the Benefits Agency because she had no money.
Elsewhere, a team of officers were dispatched to a bridge following a call reporting concerns that a man was "dangling" a small baby over the edge.
When they arrived they found the man was simply carrying his dog in his arms because it has a fear of bridges.
There were also scores of 999 calls from children playing with their parents' mobile phones
Officers arrested 341 people in the time period and 126 of those remain in custody.
The demonstration also boosted followers of GMP's Twitter feed from the usual 3,000 followers to more than 17,000 today.
One response from a follower was: "What comes across from these tweets is how much the police are involved in the community and how much they are relied upon."
Other comments included: "They did more in the last five minutes than I thought they would in a whole day."
All of the tweets can be seen on the GMP website at www.gmp.police.ukReuse content