POLICE have warned that they are experiencing an increase in demand for services across the Isle of Wight and Hampshire in the build up to the World Cup semi-final.

They say a combination of the good weather, school exams finishing, the football and other national events mean demand is higher than they would usually encounter at this time of year.

The force says they have seen an increase in calls during the World Cup period, and depending on the result this evening it may continue over the coming week and weekend.

As a result, callers may experience longer waiting times when trying to reach us on 101, particularly in the period following the England football match. If it is not urgent, we recommend hanging up and calling at a later time.

Superintendent Paul Bartolomeo, said: “Everyone, including police officers and staff, are extremely proud of England’s achievements so far in the World Cup. We know emotions can run high during these periods and we really want everyone to be able to enjoy themselves safely.

“We will be working during this time to help keep everyone safe. Please don’t put yourself or anyone else at risk – we don’t want celebrations resulting in people getting hurt or arrested. Please act responsibly, look out for each other and only call 999 in a genuine emergency.”

Police also recommend looking at their website to understand when to call 999 (https://www.hampshire.police.uk/police-forces/hampshire-constabulary/areas/campaigns/2018/999-in-an-emergency/) – in an emergency; if a crime is in progress, if life or property is at risk, or if you see something suspicious that needs immediate attention – and when to dial 101.