Teen fined over false abduction report

A 17 year old who falsely claimed she'd been abducted by a taxi driver in the Thames Valley has been fined by police.

She's had to pay £80 for wasting police time after a major search was launched involving officers from across the Thames Valley force, and neighbouring police forces.

The teenager's worried boyfriend contacted police on Thursday 30 September 2010 when he received texts from her saying she had been held by the taxi driver and was being driven to Bicester or Oxford.

In fact, she was near her home in Datchet, Berkshire, and never in danger.

The boyfriend told police his girlfriend had just got a taxi from his house in Slough to go to her home.

The incident was instantly graded to urgent by Thames Valley Police who assigned a senior officer and 15 other officers on to the case - at a cost of thousands of pounds.

Other forces, including Warwickshire, carried out motorway observations in a bid to locate the offending vehicle, described as a dark coloured people carrier.

Officers went to the boyfriend, who continued to receive a string of detailed texts from his girlfriend in which she said she was frightened the driver would take her phone away if anyone tried to contact her.

She also said they were heading towards the M25, but later said they could be on the M40 as she could see signs to Oxford and a further sign which said they were 66 miles from Birmingham.

Other texts included her saying she wanted him to call police, that her battery was ``dying'', and that she had a plan of action to jump out of the car, if the driver stopped for petrol.

At about 6.20am, almost an hour and a half after the initial call, the teenager sent a text to say she was out of the vehicle at a Shell garage but did not know where.

She told her boyfriend to tell police she was OK and that she would get help.

Although she had indicated she was out of danger, the police investigation remained live until she was physically sighted.

Police then received information that she was in fact in the Datchet area and she was found an hour later.

She first told officers then that she had been out with a friend in Windsor and lost her phone.

The girl later went to a police station and admitted no offences had occurred and that she had lied to her boyfriend.

Detective Sergeant John Slater said: "This incident had a massive impact on police resources on the night. It was treated as a genuine kidnap, and as a result several measures were put in place.

"There was nothing at the time to suggest that the teenager had in fact lied. Although she didn't contact police directly, the very nature of her texts was extremely worrying and as such her boyfriend rightly contacted us.

"When interviewed by police, the teenager was made aware of the gravity of her actions and fined #80 for wasting police time.''

He added: "It was a very serious allegation and I cannot stress enough the seriousness of making false claims to police.

"I hope that by publicising this incident, it will act as a deterrent."