Armed police called after airgun found during litter pick

The airsoft pistol found on a litter pick in Chantry today

The airsoft pistol found on a litter pick in Chantry - Credit: Jason Alexander

Armed police were called to Chantry after a group of litter pickers found a gun which they thought could be real.

Jason Alexander, founder of Rubbish Walks, was supporting a litter pick by the Chantry Wombles when volunteers stumbled across the small handgun in a hedgerow of Birkfield Drive.

The event on Saturday, April 3 was the group's first socially-distanced litter pick since lockdown restrictions eased on March 29.

Unsure of whether the gun could be real or not, Mr Alexander called the police and soon armed police were sent to examine it — finding it was in fact an airsoft pistol.

Jason Alexander with the Chantry Wombles at a litter pick today

Jason Alexander with the Chantry Wombles at a litter pick - Credit: Jason Alexander

"It was quite weighty in my hand and looked really authentic," the environmental activist from Ipswich said.

"Even the police officers said it looked very real and it could have been used in a crime or have caused danger.

"It's the first time I've ever come across a gun on a litter pick, though I have found some strange things — we also found a lot of drug paraphernalia as well as a camera and mobile phone."

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Mr Alexander admitted this discovery was up there with his strangest finds.

Just a few weeks ago, he also stumbled across a glass vial with a catgut suture - which has been confirmed to be from around 1920.

Also found on the Chantry Wombles litter pick were drug paraphernalia 

Also found on the Chantry Wombles litter pick was drug paraphernalia - Credit: Jason Alexander

"Whenever you come across something, if you're ever in any doubt it's best to call the authorities," he added.

"If a child had found the gun or someone else, then who knows what could have happened.

"Even if it was fairly corroded and not functioning, you can never be too cautious."

Worryingly, Mr Alexander has been finding more drug paraphernalia in the county .

He says people should always wear the proper safety equipment when litter picking, such as solid boots and gloves, while also using a litter picker.

He added that while some areas of Ipswich had become "grot spots", there are still beautiful litter-free areas to enjoy.

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