A person who makes a false representation (an untrue report), knowing that it is false and that it will probably be investigated by the police (or to another person, knowing that it will be passed on to the police), is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: $10 000 or 2 years imprisonment.
The court can also order the defendant to pay a reasonable amount towards the expenses of any investigation made by the police as a result of the false report. This can be very expensive.
[Summary Offences Act 1953 (SA) s 62]
Similar penalties are imposed for creating a false belief that an offence has been committed or life has been lost or endangered [s 62A].