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Giving False Information to the Police

Mann and Co > Crime Law  > Giving False Information to the Police

Giving False Information to the Police

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It is an illegal offence to give false information to the police, and can lead to up to 6 months imprisonment and a fine.

Definition of False Information 

The Criminal Law Act 1967 states ‘Where a person causes any wasteful employment of the police by knowingly making to any person a false report tending to show that an offence has been committed, or to give rise to apprehension for the safety of any persons or property, or tending to show that he has information material to any police inquiry [commits an offence].’

Consequences of Giving False Information 

Before an individual can be prosecuted, the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions is required. This means that the police cannot charge the offence without the prior permission of the Crown Prosecution Service. 

Accessory After the Fact 

Being charged with being an accessory after the fact is where you have assisted someone after they have committed a crime, with the intent to help that person avoid arrest, prosecution or punishment. Again, this can lead to time imprisonment, and fines. 

Perverting the Course of Justice 

However, this offence directly overlaps the offence of perverting the course of justice, which may also be committed where a false report to the police is made. Perverting the Course of Justice is a much more serious offence, which can lead to a longer term of imprisonment. An example of this is where a person has been arrested as a result of a false report. 

If you have made a false report to the police, it is essential to get advice. If you need our specialist advice, contact us now.

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