The astrology at the centre of a bizarre police case has come under scrutiny after police and the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) decided to take a more scientific approach.
The police have been trying to trace a group of people, dubbed the “cabbages group”, since November 2015, after they posted a series of tweets in which they said they were planning to rob the Cabbages Café in Newcastle, North Yorkshire.
But the police claim the group’s actions are just one facet of a larger criminal enterprise.
On Wednesday, a judge said it was time to revisit the case, and that the police and PPS had failed to produce sufficient evidence to charge the group, or any other individuals, for the crimes they allegedly committed.
PPS has launched an inquiry into the case.
The investigation was launched after a series the police were unable to trace the “Cabbages Group” due to “an abundance of circumstantial evidence” linking them to crimes in the UK, the judge said.
“The investigation into this case is the first step in the police’s long term effort to ensure that the public can have confidence that the prosecution of individuals who are committing serious crimes in this country is effective,” he added.
Cabbage thieves have been known to carry out robberies, carjackings, and other crimes in recent years.
This case has been a “huge distraction for the public”, said James Bove, head of the Crown Prosecution Office.
Officers from the North Yorkshire Police have been investigating the group for more than a year, following reports of a series “tweeting” in which the group claimed to be planning to steal the Cabs Café.
However, after a number of complaints, the PPS launched an investigation into the group in April, but the investigation has not led to any charges.
Last year, the BBC reported that the group had links to a number.
Following the publication of the BBC article, the police said the group was “no longer active”.
“We can confirm that there is no longer a ‘cabbage group’ and we will be taking no further action in relation to the matter,” a spokesperson said.
“This has been the most difficult investigation we have undertaken and is the result of the sheer number of allegations against the group.”
The group has not commented publicly since the publication.
Police said they had received several complaints about the group.
In response to the inquiry, a spokesperson for Newcastle City Council said the council would not comment on individual cases, but added that “all council officers are accountable to the community”.
The case comes after a string of cases in the country have highlighted the increasing dangers of online crime.
A woman from the Philippines was killed in a car crash that happened in the early hours of Monday morning, while an internet activist in China was shot dead.
Another online activist in Russia was also killed after police say they broke into his home and shot him dead.
In June, police in London were forced to reveal that they had arrested a man who had been online stalking a female student in the United Kingdom.
At the time, the UK’s Home Office said it would investigate the case and “seek to prosecute those who were responsible”.
In July, it emerged that a man from France was found guilty of raping and killing a woman in the city of Lyon, and in September it was revealed that police had arrested two men who were allegedly planning to carry on a “sexual assault” in the town of Le Mans, France.
Earlier this year, police arrested a “cab driver” in Texas who had threatened to shoot police officers.
According to police, the man had “invented” the threat and had gone on a Twitter rant about how he wanted to “put a bullet through” the police.