POLICE revealed it was the Crown Prosecution Service which decided not to charge a hoaxer who falsely claimed he was kidnapped at knifepoint.

The 22-year-old Aldershot man wasted hours of police time and money when he told police his attacker jumped into his car at the level crossing barriers near Ash railway station.

He claimed the man held a knife to his throat and forced him to drive to remote woodland at Eelmoor Hill, near Fleet, where he was forced to march around military land for more than an hour.

But despite the money wasted on trying to trace the attacker, which also kept officers away from other vital duties, the hoaxer will not face any legal action.

Instead he was made to apologise personally to the officers whose time he had wasted. A Surrey police spokeswoman said: "It was decided that the man should not be charged but this kind of thing is taken very seriously indeed."

The officer heading up the case for Surrey police estimates she spent about three days following up the hoaxer's story.

But that does not include the time spent by Aldershot police who needed to interview and take a statement from the man when he walked into the police station after his ‘ordeal'.

Fortunately the investigating officer soon realised the story was suspicious.

The spokeswoman said: "Due to the level of the seriousness of the supposed crime, we would spend a considerable amount of time investigating it.

We would throw a lot of our resources into it and these could easily have been used on other cases that may have come through and could have been used elsewhere."

She continued: "But what needs to happen in order for us to charge someone with wasting police time is we need to get consent from the director of public prosecutions. As with any case the CPS will have a look at any case we put to them and they will decide whether it is in our interest to pursue it.

"It depends on how much time we've spent on investigation and I think in this case, because the officer became aware fairly early on that the story didn't quite add up, that we didn't reach the level of time wasted required to press charges.

"Even with consent to press charges it takes a tremendous amount of work to follow it through and there is an issue of whether we can justify spending any more time on it."