POLICE are increasing patrols over the Christmas period as Special Constables will volunteer hundreds of hours of their own time.

With advent starting, West Mercia Police is launching its own calendar containing a different piece of advice every day.

While Christmas is a happy time for many people it does present opportunities for criminals and certain types of offending traditionally go up over the festive period.

Advice will focus on a number of areas such as violent crime, personal safety and domestic violence. It will also include advice to ensure people access the right service to help the force prioritise and respond more quickly to emergency calls.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Purcell said: "Ensuring people contact the police in the right way and only use the 999 number in an emergency is one of our main areas of focus at the moment. This is more important over the festive period when there is increased demand on emergency services.

"We'll also be offering advice to help people stay safe over the festive period."