Once a person has been proven to have wasted police time, a penalty of up to six months imprisonment and a fine can be issued.
When authorities consider charges against those who waste police time, prosecutors will determine when the offence occurred and whether it is possible for an out of court penalty to be issued.
The police may decide to issue a fixed penalty notice to offenders as per the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. If a fixed penalty notice is issued, the offender will need to pay a fine of £90, but they will avoid a criminal conviction.
A record will be held on police computer systems, but the offence will not necessarily impact job prospects and any future criminal cases.
There are a number of offences that are similar to that of wasting police time. This includes:
PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE.
If an offender makes a false statement and serious consequences occur because of it, the police may charge the offender with perverting the course of justice. This carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.