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9 February 2011, 09:26
Greater Manchester Police investigating a 999 call from a woman claiming to have left a two week-old baby outside a Citizens Advice Bureau in Bury now believe the call was a hoax.
Officers were called by the woman, who has an african accent, on Thursday 3rd February, but following an extensive search of the local area, much of the town centre and all branches of the Citizens Advice Bureau across Greater Manchester, nothing was found.
Police have now released a recording of the call to try and identify her.
Superintendent Graeme Openshaw, of GMP's Bury division, said: "After a large amount of police work we are now convinced this was a hoax call.
"I want to reassure people that we do not believe a baby has been abandoned in these circumstances. I cannot speculate on the motive or reasons for anyone making this type of call, but I can tell them that their actions have resulted in hundreds of officer hours being wasted.
"Officers have had to carry out extensive inquiries which means they were not available to work on genuine investigations.
"We feel incredibly frustrated when this happens, because we are constantly striving to provide the best possible service to the people of Greater Manchester.
"It is quite possible this woman might need medical help in some way, so I would urge anyone with information on who she may be to get in touch with us.
"Not only do we need to prevent this from happening again, but we need to trace this woman to see if any kind of help can be given."
Anyone with information is asked to call Greater Manchester Police's non-emergency number on 0161 872 5050 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.