Imitation gun warning after boy arrested

A TEENAGER was arrested after pointing an imitation gun at a police car on late night patrol.The 16-year-old boy was pointing the gun at passing cars in Magdalen Street, Colchester, in the early hours of yesterday morning, when a police car drove past him just before 3am.

A TEENAGER was arrested after pointing an imitation gun at a police car on late night patrol.

The 16-year-old boy was pointing the gun at passing cars in Magdalen Street, Colchester, in the early hours of yesterday morning, when a police car drove past him just before 3am.

A police armed response unit was dispatched to the scene, but the boy was arrested by unarmed police because police had information it was a BB (ball bearing) gun.

The youth, who comes from Colchester and cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear.


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He was taken to Colchester police station, questioned and given an "official police reprimand" which will go on record. The gun will be destroyed.

Sergeant Chris Allwood, of Colchester Police, said they were regularly called out to incidents involving imitation guns in Castle Park and the town centre.

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A man was recently arrested trying to get into Chicago rock café carrying an imitation gun in his hand.

"The messages goes out to parents and youngsters who are using these toys that unfortunately they are so realistic they will be mistaken as firearms.

"In the present climate to be in possession of what appears to be a firearm is not advisable. It wastes a lot of police time and resources.

"There is no reason for anyone to be in possession of one of these, particularly in a busy place like Magdalen Street.

"With culture what it is, if a member of public sees a person with something that looks a handgun they do not know it's not real, and it's difficult for police officers as we are the ones that have to face it," said Sgt Allwood.

nPart of Colchester town centre was closed on Friday night following reports of a gun being spotted in a van.

A member of the public told police they had seen what looked like the barrel of a gun on the front seat of a van in North Hill.

An unmarked police car drove past, had a look and confirmed that there did appear to be a gun in the van.

The road was sealed off to traffic but police later discovered the "gun" was actually a crook lock.

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