Woman fined after false rape claim
A WOMAN who made a false allegation of rape has been handed an £80 fixed penalty notice by police. The fine was one of the first to be issued in Essex for such an offence and followed a claim made by a Braintree woman in her 40s.
A WOMAN who made a false allegation of rape has been handed an £80 fixed penalty notice by police.
The fine was one of the first to be issued in Essex for such an offence and followed a claim made by a Braintree woman in her 40s.
Yesterday Essex Police said they had wasted valuable time and resources investigating the incident.
The alleged victim said the "rape" had taken place on Friday evening when she was at the home of a man in his 60s in Braintree.
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Her claim led to extensive police enquiry and on Saturday morning a man from the town was arrested on suspicion of rape.
However when further investigations found the allegation was false the woman admitted it and she was issued with the fixed penalty notice.
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Police also told the arrested man he was no longer under suspicion.
Detective Sergeant Roger Napier of Colchester Police said there were a number of reasons for people making up false claims.
He said: "A high percentage of those claims are made when the person making the allegation has been put under pressure by another person, such as a boyfriend, following an incident where sexual relations take place and the woman goes home and is at a loss to explain her actions and is pressured into making a rape claim.
"There are also a high number of incidents where the complainant has probably been out on the town and got drunk and woken up with somebody they do not recognise.
"There is no doubt that a great deal of police time is taken up with allegations of rape that often do not turn out to be what they were as originally stated.
"It can take more time to check them out than it does to do a clear cut case."
An Essex police spokesman said: "The false allegation investigation tied up officers and resources for a significant period of the weekend.
"This was a waste of valuable police time when these officers could and should have been working on genuine offences.
"We treat every allegation as genuine at the outset. The investigation involves scene preservation, material and forensic examinations and we will treat it as being genuine until there is a convincing case to suggest that the allegation was false.
"The use of a fixed penalty notice is unusual but it has only recently been an option."
He added the police did not want to deter anybody from making a genuine allegation of rape, but also did not want to see people in custody as a result of a false allegation.