A 15-year-old boy from North Swindon has been given a verbal warning after admitting lying to police.

He claimed to have been robbed as he walked between Redhouse and Oakhurst on crutches.

There was great concern in the community that a boy on crutches could be punched in the chest, fighting off three attackers who were allegedly trying to steal his bag.

Following investigation by the Swindon Priority Crime Team, and information gathered by the North Swindon Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) it became clear that there were discrepancies in his evidence.

When questioned by detectives he admitted that he had made the story up because he had lost his crutches after playing football.

The boy (who cannot be named for legal reasons) has been given a verbal warning by officers for making false allegations to the police. He has been left in no doubt of the seriousness of this lie. He tied up valuable police resources investigating a false report, and also caused alarm and worry amongst residents in a normally safe and peaceful neighbourhood.

Detective Constable Claire Watts said: “False claims divert valuable resources away from genuine crime victims who may need our help. We are committed to thoroughly investigating all reports, which does mean that any inconsistencies will be uncovered. Robbery is a very serious crime, and can be extremely distressing to the injured party. I would always encourage genuine victims to come forward.”