Ahead of an extreme heat warning for the next four days, Dorset Police is calling on residents and visitors to make sensible choices when contacting emergency services.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to visit Dorset over the next few days and we are working with partners to keep people safe.

The warmer weather last week saw a 17 per cent increase in 999 calls as well as a 23 per cent increase in incidents, with last Saturday being the Force’s busiest day for 999 calls this year.

Chief Superintendent Gavin Dudfield, of Dorset Police, said: “We’re working extremely hard with our partners to provide the best possible service to residents and visitors, but we need members of the public to make sensible choices and report their issue to the correct organisation.

“We see a significant number of calls reporting issues relating to parking and traffic management, which should be reported to the relevant local council. Both BCP Council and Dorset Council have extra enforcement teams working over the weekend and into next week to ensure traffic is flowing.

“In support of our fire service colleagues, we would strongly discourage the use of portable or disposable BBQs due to the potential for wildfires that sadly often occur in the county.

“If visiting the coast, please enjoy the water at an RNLI lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.”

The Force is calling on members of the public to plan their journeys in advance over the next few days and carry water in their vehicles – find out in advance where to park and if somewhere looks too busy – go elsewhere.

Chief Superintendent Dudfield continued: “Our teams will be visible all over the county and will be working closely with other agencies to create a safe county for everyone. We want our residents and visitors to enjoy the weekend and warm weather, but please be considerate of your actions and the consequences they may have.

“Please help us by using our online channels when reporting a non-emergency rather than calling 101. If there is life in danger or a crime in progress, call 999, this includes if you have significant concerns about the welfare of a dog in a vehicle and you can’t find the owner, please call police on 999.

“I would like to thank all our officers, police staff, volunteers and emergency service colleagues for all they are doing during this extremely demanding time to help keep residents and visitors safe.”