A man who told his girlfriend he had been kidnapped so that he could stay out late was found partying at a house in Bolton.
At about 6.30pm on Friday 22 August 2014, a woman called her boyfriend, a 32-year-old man, and was told by the person who answered that he would not be allowed home until he had paid a £50 debt.
A short time later she received a text that said he would be home shortly and when she spoke to him again not long after he said he was being held against his will.
The incident was reported to police and extensive enquiries were conducted to find him, which included: house to house enquiries, checking of CCTV in Daubhill area where he had been earlier and analysis of mobile telephone with a view to trying to locate him.
A number of houses were searched and one man was arrested on suspicion of kidnap. He told police that it was a “ruse” so that the man could stay out and drink. The arrested man was subsequently released without charge.
While at another address, police were told the man was at a house on Shurmer Street.
Officers attended and located the man - who told officers it was a “wind up” - at about 1.20am on Saturday 23 August 2014. He was arrested and has been given a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
More than a dozen police officers were involved during the course of the investigation.
Detective Inspector Jo Clawson, said: “The man’s girlfriend was absolutely beside herself with worry and genuinely concerned that he would come to harm.
“Rightfully, based on what she knew at the time, the matter was reported to police.
“Considerable resources and time then went into finding this man, who it transpires made the entire thing up so he could stay out and party.
“This is without doubt one of the most foolish and irresponsible incidents I have been involved in.
“Significant resources were taken off the front line on a Friday night, which is without exception, one of the busiest times of the week.
“He is fortunate not to have been charged, but to put together a file of evidence and put him through the court system would incur even more cost to the taxpayer. We feel we have wasted enough time and resources on him already and not only has he been fined, this matter will be recorded as a criminal conviction on his record.”