More than £60,000 was spent on false rape claims in a single month in Telford after a quarter of cases were proved to be false, police said today.
Leading detectives today warned people who lied that they had been raped that they were discrediting the genuine victims who had been through the trauma of such an offence.
It comes after a 16-year-old was charged with perverting the course of justice after alleging she was raped in Stirchley.
And a 12-year-old girl who claimed she was raped by two different men in a five-week period in Oakengates was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice this week and admitted the allegations were false.
Acting detective inspector Billy Scott, of Telford CID, said a quarter of the 16 rape cases which were reported in September were proved to be false. But he said everything would be done to catch offenders in genuine cases.
“Stranger rapes – where the victim does not know the offender – are extremely rare in Telford,” he said.
“However, we treat every single allegation that is made at face value and victims of any sexual offences, including rapes, are rightly given the gold service.”
Mr Scott said a huge team of officers, including specialist search teams, forensic teams and soil specialists were drafted in as part of any sexual offences investigation.
The latest false claims have seen areas sealed off for 24 hours and uniformed officers on guard to preserve any possible evidence.
Mr Scott said: “In the month of September alone we had 16 rapes reported – of those reported four of them were of a stranger nature where the victim said they did not know the alleged offender.”
As a result of extensive inquiries, involving senior detectives and divisional CID, these four offences were shown not to have occurred.
“Each investigation can cost between £10,000 and £20,000 because every time we rightfully do a full and proper investigation.
“We have a lot of money wasted by people who make up the allegations but, more importantly, the human resources we waste following up false allegations can have a massively detrimental impact on the service we are able to offer a genuine victim of crime.”
Every civilized society must strive to (1) eradicate heinous crimes by punishing the offenders, and (2) insure that the innocent aren't punished along with the offenders. Too often, the second half of that balance is omitted from the public discourse. Accusations of serious criminality, especially murder and sexual wrongdoing, too often are their own convictions in the high court of public opinion because the stigma is so severe. It is our mission to raise awareness about the injustices suffered by persons wrongly accused of serious criminality. Protecting the innocent from unjust harm as a result of a wrongful accusation is a hallmark of a civilized society.