PEOPLE who are planning to legally shoot in the Northumberland countryside have been asked to notify police in advance.
The plea follows an incident in which a concerned member of the public called police after spotting a man wearing camouflage clothing and carrying a rifle.
The Northumbria Police helicopter was scrambled and armed response deployed, but the man was found to be carrying a legal air rifle.
Temporary Superintendent Bruce Storey said: “Most landowners who allow authorised shoots and firearms certificate holders going to organised shoots do already inform police.
“However, occasionally we have incidents where a call to police could have prevented us having to use inappropriate resources.
“What we would ask is that people think about how their actions may be perceived by a member of the public.
“If you are planning on carrying out a vermin shoot, or clay pigeon shoot, and your presence with a firearm may alarm someone, contact the police and let us know.”
People should call police on 03456 043043.