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Only a quarter of 999 calls are emergencies

Just one in four 999 calls received by police last year was classed as an emergency.

This fell to less than one in five in Britain's biggest force, the Metropolitan Police, where fewer than 400,000 of the two million 999 calls needed an emergency response, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

In Suffolk, just 3,227 of the 20,391 calls were genuine emergencies – less than one in 10 – the figures showed.

Police urged callers with inquiries about stolen cars, damaged property, drug dealing or minor traffic accidents to call the non-emergency 101 number.