PEOPLE who wrongly claim they have been robbed have a month-long amnesty to withdraw their false allegation.
The amnesty - open to people who have falsely claimed to be a mobile phone theft victim - heralds the start of a get-tough approach from the police.
They have revealed that hundreds of hours of police time are being wasted and genuine crime victims suffering as a result of police investigating crimes that never happened.
Anyone now caught making a crime up will face an £80 fixed penalty ticket or prosecution through the courts for wasting police time.
The amnesty applies only to false reports of mobile phone thefts committed before last Friday and the people must not yet have profited from them.
People have until October 29 to admit they made it up and no further action will be taken.
The warning is aimed at people who do not request a police attendance, but simply want to record the crime.
Insurers may raise premiums or refuse to provide cover for people suspected of trying to defraud them.
Chief Supt John Holt, of West Yorkshire Police's Territorial Operations Division, said: "We are being delayed from investigating genuine crimes because of this problem primarily driven by the claimant's desire to profit from a bogus insurance claim.
"It's a particular problem with mobile phones when someone wishing to upgrade to a better model has reported their phone stolen to obtain a crime number and make an insurance claim."
Chief Supt Holt, who used to be Huddersfield's police commander, added that some fraudsters have done a "double whammy".
They say their home has been burgled or car stolen and then claim money from insurance companies while selling the supposedly stolen items on too.