Essex Police was flooded with 3,716 emergency 999 calls this weekend – the hottest of the year.
Following the bust weekend, which saw officers called wide variety of incidents, including serious collisions on both the M25 and M11, police chiefs are calling for residents to only use 999 for emergencies.
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “Our call-handlers and dispatchers work hard every day to prioritise your emergency calls, but we need to ensure that the 999 line is being used for incidents where crime is currently being committed, or there is a high chance that people will come to harm as a result of this crime.
“For non-emergency reports, we encourage you to go online or call 101, enabling us to assist those asking for our help urgently as quickly as possible. 999 should only be called in an emergency.
This weekend saw scorching temperatures of up to 30°C across the county with police called to several major incidents.
On the morning of Saturday, July 17, a 46-year-old man from Southampton died after a small vehicle transporter he was driving overturned between junction 8 and junction 9 on the M11, leaving the road closed for most of the day.
Later that same day a 38-year-old man was hospitalised after a lorry collided with a stationary lorry on the M25 near Thurrock.