Thursday, March 15, 2012

Police probe false ‘rape’ claim at Barshaw Park

POLICE sealed off part of a busy Paisley park after they received a report that a young schoolgirl had been raped.

Tape was used to close a section of Barshaw Park, in the town’s East End, as an investigation got under way.

The alarm had been raised after a girl, believed to be aged 13 or 14, told a pal that she had been attacked by an unknown man at the park at around 10pm on Saturday.

The Paisley Daily Express understands that both girls had been drinking alcohol and the friend then reported the matter to police.

Cops soon arrived at Barshaw Park to cordon off the area in order to preserve the scene.

However, when officers quizzed the alleged victim on Sunday morning, she told them she hadn’t been attacked.

Police could be seen at the park for most of Sunday morning before taking down the tape later that day.

A spokesman has confirmed that a rape allegation had been made on Saturday night but, following an investigation, it became clear the girl’s claims had “no foundation”.

Officers will now be clamping down on anti-social behaviour at Barshaw Park as the summer months get nearer.

Inspector Eddie Gray, who is based at the Mill Street police office in Paisley, told the Express: “This was an incident that was blown out of proportion due to young people consuming alcohol at the park.

“As the nights get brighter, we are aware of a number of youths congregating at Barshaw Park to drink alcohol. It is something that we see every year and we’ll be using officers on plain-clothes patrol to target this behaviour.

“We’ll also be speaking to local licence holders in the area.

“We are confident that the shopowners would not sell to underage youths but we want to make them more aware of the possibility of agent purchases, which involves people over the age of 18 buying and providing alcohol to youngsters.”

Anyone who has concerns about anti-social behaviour at Barshaw Park is asked to call Paisley police office on 0141 532 5900.