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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71046
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been arrested for wasting police time, but I have been

Customer Question

I have been arrested for wasting police time, but I have been released after an interview and identification tests (photographs, finger prints, DNA mouth swab). What will the outcome be?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Whats the wasting police time issue please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The issue was I'd placed a drunken phone call regarding assault from a non-identified person who had thrown a bottle at me. I'd been drunk and convoluted information from my past of an abusive boyfriend, etc.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

So was the allegation false?

Have you made many other allegations to the police?

Was anybody arrested?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The allegation was false because I'd been drunk and had been talking about an incident that had occurred in the past.


I have made no further allegations and no one was arrested.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
No, but previously?

Have you made many other allegations previously?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, I have made no other allegations previously. I have a clean criminal record, this is the first time I have gotten into trouble with the law.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the information.

You are probably on bail for them to make further enquiries. Its difficult to say really. Its strange that they arrested you for wasting police time and not perverting the course of justice.

The problem with this is fundamentally this. Not all reports to the police are truthful. Unfortunately childish people use them to mediate domestic squabbles and neighbour disputes all the time. They have begun a crack down upon that type of thing.

If its just that you made a false claim in the form of a 999 call and nobody was arrested then, unless there was literally a huge manhunt as a result of this call, its most likely to be a wasting police time matter.

In terms of what the outcome will be, it will depend upon whether they can prove it was you. Identification seems to be the issue here. I suppose they could get a voice recognition expert to listen to the CAD message but if you have not made previous calls to the police then its not likely they would be that interested.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I had a police interview for the incident, and the officer submitted a report. But I was released after. I'm waiting on the court's verdict, what will the likely verdict be? The officer suggested a warning (is this the same thing as a caution?) or a fine. Can the fine be a fixed penalty notice? I gave a no comment interview apart from one question where they asked if they should pursue chasing and/or arresting this I said no. I'm worried this will show up on my CRB check and will obstruct visa and job applications, please advise.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
I will not know what the verdict will be. That will depend on the evidence against you.

But yes they do often offer FPNs for wasting police time. It depends on the amount of time thats been wasted. If a call sparked off a massive manhunt then people usually go to prison for perverting. If a call was rejected immediately, nobody was arrested but the police were caused some admin then thats a FPN for wasting police time.

An FPN can show on your DBS check at enhanced level I'm afraid.

A caution will show on standard and enhanced.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I kept being told it was a minor offence. They have no evidence against me apart from the first call placed to the police. Are FPNs valid in Scotland? The officer said it would take 3 weeks (approx) from the time he submits a report to me hearing back, is this accurate?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Making a false allegation can be a very serious offence or it can be a fairly minor one. At least sometimes it arises from better motives than others. A factor in your favour is that nobody was arrested. That would rack up the aggravation if an innocent person was arrested.

They do, of course, have to prove the allegation was false anyway and its fairly difficult to prove a negative. Its easier with allegations of assault than of sexual offences and its with sexual offences that the bulk of the false claims lie.

It does usually take three weeks to get advice upon disposal.

I hadn't actually appreciated that you were in Scotland but it would not change anything that you've asked so far. FPNs are valid in Scotland. They have long been used for many reasons - speeding, public order etc.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I forgot to add that the police went looking for me after my phonecall and broke into my flat. I'd been at a friend's. This entire incident lasted 24 hours from when I made the call to when they found me at my friend's.


I had been totally unaware that this charge existed and after my no-comment police interview, the police asked me a couple of generic questions after turning off the tape recorder about why I'd done it. They seemed to empathise and be jovial about the fact that it wasn't my finest hour.


i'm really scared what the outcome will be as I'm an international student, and I'm looking to pursue a further masters in Scotland. Will this affect my visa applications?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
Thats an immigration issue and you would have to post another question about that as its not my area.

It might all turn into nothing as they have to prove that the allegation was untrue and that you made it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I just called the police station to ask what he outcome is likely to be, and they said it shall be a warning or at most a fiscal fine which is the Scottish equivalent of a fixed penalty ticket. Is a Scottish warning the same as an English caution?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
They call fiscal fines FPNs. Sometimes they call them FPT too. That is most likely the outcome for a wasting police time matter.

Warnings are a step up from the FPN but basically an adult formal warning is the Scots equivalent of the English adult caution.