British Transport Police officers have issued a reminder about the consequences of falsely reporting crime.
False crime reports divert police attention from passengers and railway staff who really need it. People who are found wasting police time or perverting the course of justice can find themselves facing arrest.
On Monday a man was handed a formal police caution after boasting on Twitter that he had lied to police about having his wallet stolen, with BTP officers quickly picking up on the messages.
The 23-year-old man, from Benfleet in Essex, told police that he had his wallet snatched out of his hand whilst on board a train at Bermondsey Tube station.
But the man soon tweeted about how he had lied to BTP about the incident and had in fact forgotten his wallet.
The tweets were picked up by BTP’s control room and he was arrested a few hours later for perverting the course of justice, before being handed a formal police caution.
BTP Superintendent Matt Wratten said: “This man wasted valuable police time by falsely claiming his property had been stolen. He then had the audacity to brag about it on social media.
“Thanks to the quick actions of the staff in our Force control room, and the man’s tweets, we were able to quickly identify that the theft hadn’t taken place.
“We know the majority of people report crimes openly and honestly, and we will always treat every report as genuine. I hope this man and others who are considering making a false claim now think twice about doing so.”
Supt Wratten added: “BTP recently launched Operation Magnum to tackle theft and already we’re arresting more offenders.
“Our plain-clothes officers patrol the Tube network every day and are highly-trained in spotting the kind of behaviour that tells them someone is intent on theft.”