RESIDENTS attempting to call the Dorset Police 101 service are likely to face extended waiting times due to the number of staff who have tested positive for Covid or are self-isolating.

The force has said that ensuring the 999 emergency service can continue to operate fully, staff still able to work have to prioritise this over the non-emergency calls.

In a statement posted on social media, a Dorset Police spokesperson said: "Unfortunately, we have a number of our Force Command Centre staff who have tested positive for Covid or have been instructed to self-isolate.

"At this time, if you are unable to go online and still need to call the 101 non-emergency number, please be aware you may have to wait some time before speaking to a call handler as our 999 service must remain our priority."

The spokesperson added: "Please remember, only dial 999 in an emergency – when life is threatened, people are injured, offenders are nearby, or immediate action is required.

"We would like to thank the public for their understanding and patience at this challenging time."

The update from Dorset Police comes as BCP Council said bin collections over the coming days could be affected by a shortage of staff due to the same issue.