THOUSANDS of extra bogus calls to police in the past year is putting a real strain on call-handling services with a review in how calls are managed being considered, the Oxford Mail can reveal.

Click here for a list of the most ridiculous time-wasting calls to police in the past year.

An unprecedented rise in calls to Thames Valley Police’s contact centres has left it struggling to answer some of the less serious calls, with some people being left on the line.

The force received 1,338,835 emergency 999 and 101 calls across Thames Valley between April 2016 and April 2017, a rise of nearly 60,000 on two years previous.

This summer has not seen things ease up as during June and July alone, the force noted a 12 per cent increase in 999 calls.

All serious incidents are being responded to but Anthony Stansfeld, police and crime commissioner for Thames Valley, said only 20 per cent of calls these summer calls were reports of 'actual crimes'.

Some extreme cases of misguided calls to the force include complaints about pizza toppings, worry for ‘confused’ looking horses and anger over late buses but many non-police issues, such as parking and noise complaints, also come through to the centre.

Chief Superintendent Christian Bunt, head of contact management at TVP, said as a result the force had to make 'really difficult choices' which 'did not sit comfortably' with staff as a result of the rise,

He said contact centres receive several hundred thousand calls a year that do not result in an incident or crime report and called for an ‘open and honest debate’ with partner agencies to divert non-police calls.

Ch Supt Bunt said: "We are experiencing an increase in calls for service year on year for the last two or three years. Certainly this year, compared to last, we have seen our biggest increase in 999 calls.

“There is a significant proportion of these calls which essentially are not police matters.

"The summer was highly pressured. At certain times of the day we struggled to answer the non-emergency calls as fast as we would have liked to and people have had to wait."

Ch Supt Bunt said common examples of calls which were not police responsibilities included noise complaints, car parking, litter and fly-tipping issues, which are under the jurisdiction of local authorities.

He added that calls which did not require officers had 'always happened', but because of the force needing to reduce pressure on front line officers and in call centres, more analysis was needed to deal with these calls.

It is hoped analysis will lead to members of the public being diverted and transferred to the correct service provider and be better educated in understanding what are and what are not police matters.

Ch Supt Bunt said: "We have got to review it because of the pressure we are under.

"We are now getting to the point where we will need to reduce and divert some of this demand where it appropriately needs to go, so that we are dealing with core police business.

"That still means we are going to go and help people in crisis. I am not saying we are not going to go to them.

"If we can release some of that demand we can provide a better service and quicker service."

As the number of calls rise, the number of reported incidents is also increasing. Within the Oxford policing area, the number of 999 calls that result in reports has each month this year been higher than in 2016, often by more than 100 calls.

Recent terror attacks in Manchester and London, as well was the hot weather are thought to have had an impact on the rise in calls.