Armed police swoop on youngsters brandishing suspected hand gun
- Credit: Policing Fenland
Armed police swooped on two youngsters spotted in a town rec with a suspected hand gun.
The arrests were made at the Wenny Road playing field in Chatteris on Sunday.
Inspector Andrew Morris said: “On being challenged by armed police officers, two juvenile males were detained and subsequently arrested for firearms offences.
“One has now been released under investigation whilst our investigation continues; the other has been released with no further action.”
He said an armed response was appropriate after a “young male was seen in public with what was believed to have been a handgun”.
Insp Morris said it was the second incident in a week where young people in the town have been seen with potential handguns.
“The first last week, thankfully turned out to be a plastic BB gun, but as you can see by the picture, still appears and looks like an actual firearm,” said Insp Morris.
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“Due to this, when we get reports of firearms in public, we have to take these reports seriously and treat any reports as if it is real firearm and armed police officers will be in attendance.”
He said: “Unfortunately, this rise in reports coincides with a stall holder who was selling BB guns at The Chatteris festival.
“We have since been working closely with partners from the festival, who on the day took swift action to stop further sales of these items.
“Due to the sale of these BB guns, there are potentially a number of other BB and replica handguns out in the community.”
Insp Morris said: “We are asking anyone who owns one of these guns or replicas, whether bought at the fair or otherwise, to please hand these weapons over to us.
“There will be no further action taken by the police if you make immediate action to hand these to the police.”
He said he had made the decision to implement a short-term amnesty “as we want as many of these weapons off of the streets of Chatteris as possible.
“I want to ensure the community remains safe and we don’t get further incidents where armed officers are required.
“And I want to ensure my team can educate the youngsters around the consequences of been in possession of these weapons.”
He said it was important to ensure the right balance of reassuring the community, taking the appropriate punitive action and educating the community to prevent further incidents.
Police say that if you have or know anyone who has one of these weapons and want to hand it over to us, there are a number of ways to do this.
You can email the March Neighbourhood Policing Team on NPTMarch@cambs.police.uk and an officer will arrange collection.
Also, you can call 101 or speak to police on webchat or report through their online reporting tool, where again an officer will arrange collection of these items.