POLICE have reprimanded a student who made a hoax report to police – to get more patrols in her neighbourhood.

The 21-year-old woman contacted police on November 27 and told officers that she had been approached by a man while walking through the Shieldfield area of Newcastle.

She claimed he had propositioned her and then threatened her with a knife when she rebuffed his advances.

Following the report, police received a number of further calls from students concerned about what had happened after they heard about the attack.

But when officers re-visited the victim in the days that followed to try to establish more facts she admitted she had made it up - as she wanted an extra police presence in her neighbourhood.

The student told police friends abroad had suggested she make the hoax call, but she herself was shocked how seriously police had taken it.

She has now been reprimanded about her behaviour while police have reassured residents that there is no evidence women are being targeted in the area.

Neighbourhood Inspector Anita Morgan said: “This report and subsequent post on social media has led to a lot of unnecessary concern among students in this area of the city.

“Following that post we received a number of reports of students concerned about the incident who were scared that they themselves were being followed.

“We have investigated each of these reports and we do not believe there is a pattern involving a stranger who is walking round the area and targeting women in this manner."

“Upon speaking to the victim again, it has become clear that she has made up the initial report because she wanted an extra policing presence in her neighbourhood.

“Not only have her actions created unnecessary alarm in the local community but she has wasted the time of neighbourhood officers.

“We regularly conduct patrols in Shieldfield, Heaton, Ouseburn and Jesmond and also run Operation Oak throughout the academic year that sees an extra police presence in the area.

“It is not acceptable to behave in this manner and she has been warned in the strongest possible terms about making accusations of this nature.

“However, we do not want to discourage anyone from calling us if they have genuine concerns about suspicious behaviour.

“If you do not feel safe in your community then we would encourage you to speak to your local neighbourhood policing team or your university officer.”

Operation Oak is an initiative that sees extra officers patrol Heaton and Jesmond throughout the academic year to reassure both students and residents in the area.

They often respond to noise complaints and anti-social behaviour but are also on hand to offer advice and support to members of the local community.

Anyone with concerns about suspicious behaviour in Jesmond can contact neighbourhood officers by emailing newcastleeast.npt@northumbria.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101.