POLICE have called off a probe into an alleged Blackpool sex attack after an investigation revealed it was a false claim.
Officers in the resort launched a major inquiry after a 29-year-old woman reported she had been the subject of a vicious assault on Sunday night.
Alfred Street was cordoned off for almost 24 hours while police scoured the scene for clues.
But after a thorough investigation, officers today told The Gazette the complainant had made the whole thing up.
Chief Insp Andrea Barrow, (above), who led the investigation for Blackpool’s major investigation team, said: “We took this report very seriously as we do with all allegations of this nature, however after a large amount of investigation it has been revealed that in fact no offence had taken place.
“However, I would urge anyone who is a victim of any sexual assault to come forward and speak to police.”
Initial reports suggested the woman had been walking along Church Street in the town centre when an unknown male approached her.
She claimed he then bundled her into an alleyway off Alfred Street.
The alley itself was protected by a tent covering the scene throughout the next day.
The victim was examined and interviewed by specially trained officers who were trying to piece together what had happened.
Residents and business owners on the street expressed their distress at the shocking turn of events while they were kept away from their homes and premises by the major investigation.
Chief Insp Barrow added: “I would like to thank members of the public who came forward with information and apologise to residents for any disruption caused.”
Police say they are now looking into pressing charges against the woman in relation to wasting police time.
During the investigation officers were pulled off other important work to deal with the ongoing inquiry and police bosses have said they are treating that issue with the utmost seriousness.