Britons Against Left-Wing Extremism, the group that originally posted the picture of a blond 6-year-old identified as "Amy Hamilton," now admits there is no such person. In a new statement on its website, the group asks the public to stop passing the poster on via social media.
"Certain left-wing news outlets have picked up on this and were quick to brand it a 'racist hoax,'" BALE said. "The poster which was distributed by our Facebook page last year was only a ploy to bring awareness to the real world issue of Asian grooming gangs in the United Kingdom."
While BALE now admits it was describing the plight of a fictional child, last year a contributor to the group's website said he was amazed by the original response and hoped Amy would be rescued quickly, the Independent reported.
The Croydon Advertiser dug into the story and reported the story was fiction. Last year, police in Croydon described fake appeals as "extremely unhelpful and distasteful," and said all they accomplish is to divert attention and resources from those genuinely in need of help.