UNDER-FIRE police are facing "unprecedented" demand - with more 999 calls on the day of Saturday's World Cup game than at any other point outside new year's eve.

Top officers say the "exceptional" spell of hot weather, combined with both the rise in the number of visitors to Dorset and the football, has seen huge demand on the force.

On the day England beat Sweden, Dorset experienced the highest number of emergency calls even in a single 24-hour period. Only new year's eve was busier.

Chief Superintendent Glen Mayhew, strategic alliance commander for operations, thanked staff and officers for meeting the surge in demand.

"Despite the pressure this undoubtedly brings, I am proud of their collective efforts and how they continue to deliver a great service to our public in the face of this unprecedented rise in demand," he said.

“It’s not just Devon, Cornwall and Dorset experiencing this rise. This is a pattern that is being reported by forces across the country right now.

“The heatwave, along with the increase in number of visitors to our area and the euphoria of England’s progress in the World Cup, has seen demand on the police rise across all areas of policing."

The force receives "dozens of calls a day" to dogs left in hot cars, he said.

“We are having an increase in demand due those who continue to sit behind the wheel of a car while under the influence, or drive the morning after a night out when still over the limit," Chief Superintendent Mayhew added.

“We also ask that people consider their level of drinking. These hot days lead to dehydration, coupled with people consuming an increased level of alcohol, this has seen a rise in the number of assaults in our towns and cities, and increases the risk of domestic violence taking place in the home."

He urged residents to keep an eye on their neighbours and "continue to be patient".

"Our websites are a great source of information for the public packed with crime prevention advice including Ask Ned, the non-emergency database, which has answers to hundreds of questions that the public may have so please click before you call," he said.

“We ask that people only call 999 in a genuine emergency."