Girl fined for wasting police time after 'kidnapping'

A teenager has been fined for wasting police time after claiming she had been kidnapped, sparking a major search.

The 17-year-old, from Datchet, Berks, sent a text message to her boyfriend saying a taxi driver was taking her to Oxford and she was "frightened".

An urgent investigation was launched with more than 15 police officers assigned to the case, on 30 September.

The girl was later found near her home and told officers she had made the story up. She was fined £80.

Thames Valley Police said the search, which took place for more than an hour and a half, was treated as an "urgent incident".

'Lost phone'

Officers were supported by other forces, including Warwickshire, who carried out motorway observations in a bid to locate the offending vehicle, described as a dark coloured people carrier.

The girl continued to send messages saying the driver would take her phone away if anyone tried to contact her.

She had even made an elaborate plan of action to jump out of the vehicle if the driver stopped for petrol.

Although she later said she was safe the police investigation continued until she was physically sighted.

Officers then received reports she was in the Datchet area.

At first the teenager said she had lost her phone.

But she was questioned by detectives and admitted she had lied.

Det Sgt John Slater, of Thames Valley Police, said the lie had had a "massive impact" on nighttime police resources.

"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."

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