A RAPE investigation has been shelved after a woman admitted she was not attacked.

Officers launched an appeal and sent out a description of the alleged attacker after the victim said she had been raped while walking along the canal towpath in Brimscombe on Thursday, December 23.

The incident was first reported on January 7.

Detective chief inspector Andy Wasley said: "Our investigation has established that no sexual assault took place and the woman involved has also acknowledged that no such incident occurred.

"I am keen to reassure residents in the area of this and remind them that they do live in a safe community.

"Gloucestershire Constabulary take all reports of sexual assaults very seriously and this incident was no different, with a full and thorough investigation launched.

"While we have decided not to prosecute this woman we would like to emphasise that making false claims is a serious offence that completely undermines those people whose lives have been devastated by genuine crimes of this nature.

"We would like to encourage genuine victims to report their experience and reassure them that each case is treated in a sensitive manner by specially trained officers."