A MAN was arrested for wasting police time after telling his girlfriend that he had been kidnapped — so he could stay out drinking at a house in Daubhill.

Police were alerted after the 32-year-old man’s girlfriend phoned him, at about 6.30pm yesterday, another man answered and was told that her that he would not be allowed home until he paid a £50 debt.

Officers then started door to door enquiries, checked CCTV footage in Daubhill, where he had previously been, and analysed mobile phone data, only to later find that it had been a wind-up, after finding the man at about 1.30am today.

In the course of the investigation, a number of houses were searched, and one man was arrested on suspicion of kidnap.

He told police that the incident had been a “ruse” so the man could stay out late and drink. The man was later released without charge.

Police were also told that the man was at a house in Shurmer Street, Daubhill, but he was eventually located and arrested, and handed a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.

More than a dozen police officers were involved in the incident, and the police have slammed the man for wasting resources at one of their peak times.

Detective Inspector Jo Clawson, of Bolton police, said: “The man’s girlfriend was absolutely beside herself with worry and genuinely concerned that he would come to harm.

“Rightfully, based on what she knew at the time, the matter was reported to police.

“Considerable resources and time then went into finding this man, who it transpires made the entire thing up so he could stay out and party.

“This is without doubt one of the most foolish and irresponsible incidents I have been involved in.

“Significant resources were taken off the front line on a Friday night, which is without exception, one of the busiest times of the week.

“He is fortunate not to have been charged, but to put together a file of evidence and put him through the court system would incur even more cost to the taxpayer.

“We feel we have wasted enough time and resources on him already and not only has he been fined, this matter will be recorded as a criminal conviction on his record.”