West Midlands Police yesterday praised the majority of New Year's Eve revellers in the region for celebrating responsibly and reported no major incidents despite making a number of arrests for various "low-key" offences.

But they criticised some people for a number of inappropriate calls to the 999 service, including a woman who rang to wish the emergency services a happy new year and a man who asked controllers which prison his uncle was in.

Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said people had mainly heeded advice to enjoy themselves in a sensible and responsible manner.

"It is fair to say that in the West Midlands New Year's Eve was a successful occasion really enjoyed by many thousands of people," he said.

"I would pay tribute to all police staff, our colleagues in the other emergency services and other agencies, such as local authorities, for their contribution to a relatively trouble-free New Year's Eve."

The force received a total of 2,324 emergency 999 calls between 10pm on December 31 and 6am yesterday.

Meanwhile, the West Midlands Ambulance said staff had been "incredibly busy" dealing with an average of one 999 call every 20 seconds between midnight and 5am on New Year's Day.

Within the first 45 minutes of the new year, the emergency operations centre at its headquarters in Brierley Hill had received 100 emergency calls. A total of 1,420 emergency 999 calls were received across the region in just five hours, the vast majority to alcohol-fuelled incidents, including people collapsing, falling over and injuring themselves, and also to fights and assaults in pubs and bars in the main centres throughout the region.

Across the region, between midnight and 5am, the number of 999 calls included: n 746 in Birmingham, Black Country and Shropshire n 329 in Staffordshire n 226 in Coventry and Warwickshire n 119 in Herefordshire.

In Birmingham, crews also had to deal with a serious road traffic collision just after 3.30am where a 29-year-old woman pedestrian suffered serious leg, head and back injuries after she was in collision with a car.

The incident happened in Shenley Fields Road, Selly Oak, and she was taken by ambulance to Selly Oak Hospital which was put on alert as she was brought in.

Ambulance service officials said forward planning for the busy evening had proved very successful, with extra staff brought into the emergency operations centres across the region to ensure all calls were answered. Extra ambulances and staff were also on duty and support was received from volunteers from the St John Ambulance Service and the Red Cross, and some of the pressure was also relieved by the temporary minor injuries unit in Birmingham's entertainment district.

West Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive, Anthony Marsh, said: "I would like to thank the many staff who worked over the New Year period. Their professionalism and dedication have ensured that patients across the region have received appropriate care in a timely manner.

"We would continue to ask people to consider whether they need to call 999.

"If you have a genuine emergency by all means call the ambulance service, but otherwise consider whether another part of the NHS might be more appropriate.

"You might find you can get the advice you need from a pharmacist, from NHS Direct or from your GP. Don't forget all GPs operate an out of hours service.