Police are asking people to remember to only dial 999 in a genuine emergency, by highlighting the sometimes idiotic calls they receive.

Whether it was UFO’s being spotted over Cornwall, actually a concert at the Eden Project, or asking for help contacting a Chinese takeaway, because they were not answering the phone and she wanted to order a takeaway, the force is asking people to only use the 999 number only in an emergency.

Devon and Cornwall Police report that one man called after being released on bail by the courts and had phoned asking for a lift home, because he had no money.

Another, “sober sounding male”, decided to call at 7am on Christmas Day from outside Exeter Police station asking for a lift back to Crediton as he had spent all his money and due to it being Christmas was struggling to get home.

“Of course the answer was a polite no,” added the spokesman.

One woman remained unconvinced that the police could not solve her lack of electricity, after calling to say it had gone off and the police needed to sort it out.

Another man dialled 999 to ask for the phone number of a plumber, as he had come home to find he had a leak in the bathroom.

Officers also report lots of calls to switchboard concerning noise pollution, lost dogs and house alarms with nothing suspicious seen, all the responsibility of other agencies.

A Devon and Cornwall police spokesman said: “The 999 number should only be used for situations where life is threatened, people are injured, offenders are nearby or if immediate action is required with an urgent response.”

He added: “101 has replaced 08452 777444, and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”