PLEAS for help over a cat stuck up a tree and being unable to log on to an adult website are just two examples of frivolous and bizarre 999 calls received over recent months, North Wales Police says.

The force is highlighting such cases as part of its #DontTieUpTheLine message, aimed at preventing unnecessary and inappropriate calls made to the joint communications centre in St Asaph.

To date, the force has received about 410,000 calls, including emergency and non-emergency calls.

Between December 15, 2016 and January 3, 2017, police received 4,407 emergency calls and 14,984 ‘101’ calls.

Between December 20 and December 27, 2017 a total of 7,108 calls were received by police. Over the corresponding period in 2016, 6,708 calls were taken.

Between January 1, 2017 and December 13, 2017, police received 79,148 emergency calls and 316,915 non-emergency calls

Nick Evans, temporary superintendent from the joint communications centre, said: "Each unnecessary call to us reduces time available for calls which are for genuine policing matters.

"Traditionally, Christmas and New Year are among the busiest times of year for the police and we are simply asking people to use the 999 system wisely.

"Phoning 999, which is an emergency line, for trivial matters such as to report a cat stuck up a tree is a complete waste of resources and could possibly prevent a genuine life-or-death emergency call being put through.”

Other examples of inappropriate calls made to police have included request for taxis, a broken TV set, someone coughing their cigarette out of their mouth and a complaint about a cold takeaway meal.

There has also been a recent spate of children phoning 999 from payphones, including one example includes a child phoning 999 whilst being taught by a mum who was teaching her child regarding how and when to use the system.

If people are found to be consistently making hoax calls to the 999 system, they could face prosecution.