Air rifle sparks police alert

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.