People can be tempted to make false reports to the police for a number of reasons. It may be to make up financial loss, for insurance purposes, to avoid other criminal offences or even to avoid getting into trouble with their family or loved ones.
Examples can include people leaving their vehicles unattended with the keys in the ignition but making a false report as their insurance would not cover them. It can also include children making false reports about crime to avoid getting in trouble with their parents for being late.
Making a false report could lead to a fine, a conviction for wasting police time or even a prison sentence for the more serious offence of perverting the course of justice. The offence carries a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment.
Less serious cases may result in a fine of £80 for people aged 16 or over and £40 for under people under 16 years old.