Police issue imitation gun alert
Police have renewed their warning to parents and guardians against allowing children to carry imitation guns, such as BB guns.
Officers say that not only can doing so pose a serious risk of injury, but it could also lead to the handler being arrested or even shot.
Officers say anyone using an imitation gun in a public place is at risk of being arrested for a number of offences including the "possession of a firearm or imitation firearm".
The reminder comes following an incident in Brookmans Park on Friday, 11 August.
Community officer, PC Jitu Davé wrote about the incident in this site’s forum.
"Shortly after 9am on Friday 11th Aug. 2006, I received a call on my work mobile that a young male had been seen with guns. The incident was reported to police immediately using 999.
"From the location given of the young male, I was able to provide some useful information to the police control room staff. I liaised with the officers through my personal radio and at the scene and the incident was dealt with accordingly.
"I am pleased to say that the incident did not involve any real firearms or any real terrorist activity. It involved a local young lad in his early teens playing with his toy guns in the street completely unaware of the implications of his behaviour.
"As the police enquiries are still going on, it will not be appropriate for me or anyone to speculate or make any further remarks on the subject."
Four years ago the head of the Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operational Support Department warned that all sightings of guns are taken seriously and involves the immediate dispatching of armed police officers.
"BB guns can look very realistic and in responding to such an incident, officers have to treat the gun as a real firearm until they can be absolutely sure that it is not a lethal weapon.
"We want people who own imitation firearms to be fully aware of the consequences of showing and using them in public. We obviously do not want to cause unnecessary alarm to BB gun users and in turn we want to warn them of the distress they may cause to other members of the public."
The recommendation from police is that if parents and guardians are happy for their children to have BB guns they should supervise their use and make sure they are used in a private area such as their own garden.
You can discuss this issue in the Forum
August 13, 2006