If you make a false report, make up a crime or lie to the police you could be charged with wasting police time or even the more serious offence of perverting the course of justice.
- Why do people make false reports?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.
- What could happen to people making false reports? 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.
Chief Superintendent Richard Liversidge said: “Hoax calls are incredibly frustrating for our call handlers but much more than that they tie up our valuable resources and can ultimately put the lives of other genuine callers at risk by causing a delay in them getting through and subsequently us dispatching officers to them.
“These time-wasting hoax calls waste police time that should be spent helping the vulnerable and dealing with legitimate emergencies where lives or property are at risk of harm.
“Making hoax calls is a serious offence and we will continue to work to prosecute anyone found to be making these type of calls.”