Police have condemned hoaxers who claimed a 14-year-old boy had been seriously assaulted in Southampton.

Officers launched a major investigation after South Central Ambulance Service was told a teenager had been badly injured on Hinkler Road in Thornhill on Saturday evening.

Despite an extensive search police were unable to locate anyone suffering from injuries.

READ MORE: Police launch major search after reports of 14-year-old boy being seriously assaulted in Thornhill

Chief Inspector Chris Douglas said:  "As the public would expect, we take reports of this nature extremely seriously and emergency services were at the location within minutes of the report at 9.15pm.

"Officers spent all weekend carrying out enquiries to locate the victim.

"Following a report like this, enquiries involve hours of reviewing CCTV footage, house-to-house enquiries, identifying any potential witnesses and area searches.

"On this occasion, these enquiries have now found that this report was false.

"While hoax 999 calls are relatively rare, it is something that we do face as emergency services and the people who make these calls are diverting resources away from those who really need help.

"Our contact management staff, response officers and our colleagues across all emergency services do a hugely important and demanding job, speaking to people who are often in very difficult, upsetting or dangerous situations.

"When their time is wasted, it is most frustrating.

"I would like to take this opportunity to remind people just how vital it is not to make inappropriate emergency calls. You could be stopping someone who has a real emergency from getting through to call handlers.

"Help us keep 999 lines clear for emergencies.

"Only call 999 if there is a danger to life, a crime is happening at that time, or has just happened, you have immediate concerns for safety or you see something suspicious that needs immediate attention."

A Hampshire police spokesperson added: "Following extensive enquiries over the past couple of days, we have ascertained this report to have been false and have found that nobody was injured.

"We would like to thank everyone who shared our appeal in an attempt to assist us with information.

"We would also like to clarify that while the Hinkler Pub was provided as a location in our appeal, our intention was for this to be used as a point of reference for anyone calling in with information.

"We would like to thank the pub staff for their assistance with our investigation on the night and to reiterate that the pub itself was not involved in any way."