POLICE have confirmed a call which caused cops to swarm Johnstone on Saturday night was a hoax.

Officers on the back shift were rushed into action after reports emerged of a woman apparently preparing to jump from the side of the Black Cart River at around 7.50pm.

They were alerted to the alleged woman by a gang of youths, who each gave the police a statement saying they had seen her threatening to jump near the A737. 

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A large police presence flooded into the town, with search dogs and a helicopter joining the hunt and local police scouring hours of CCTV footage to try and spot her.

However, after several hours of trying to trace the mystery woman, it became apparent that she did not exist and the teens had merely tricked the police.

The Gazette:

Emergency vehicles swarmed the Morrisons car park in Johnstone 

Inspector Cassie Glass, based in Johnstone, warned that hoax calls were taken very seriously by the police and would not be tolerated at any time.

She said: “This is completely unacceptable and a massive waste of police resources. 

“We rushed a lot of resources to the incident believing it was something serious. 

“It is extremely serious to make false allegations to the police and to waste our time. 

“We do find out and people do get charged with wasting police time.” 

The Gazette:

Inspector Glass called the incident 'unacceptable'

The gang of youths have all been charged with wasting police time.

The incident was the second major call-out in as many weeks in the town, after armed police had raided a property the weekend before.

Local activity came to a halt when officers cordoned off the area while carrying out their operation as they surrounded a MacDowall Street property following reports a man had brandished a firearm.

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Specialists units attended with police dogs and handlers while neighbours were told to ‘stay indoors’.

Cops later said the man, who was arrested, had been released on an undertaking and been charged under Section 38 of the Criminal Justice Scotland Act for a breach of the peace.