Gun Scare In Southsea

Police are questioning a man in custody after a member of the public was seen with a firearm in Southsea.

Officers were called to the area of Victoria Road South and Albert Road in Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire at 3.57pm on Thursday, June 30, 2011.

A man was seen in public sitting next to what appeared to be a firearm.

Road closures were put in place as a precaution during the police’s response.

Armed officers went to the scene.

A 23-year-old man from Southsea was arrested in Victoria Road South at 4.17pm on Thursday, June 30 by local officers on suspicion of possessing an imitation firearm in a public place.

The suspect was taken to Portsmouth Central Police Station, where he remains in custody for questioning.

Police seized a BB gun as evidence during their enquiries at the scene.

No shots were fired and no officers or members of the public were threatened or injured.

Acting Inspector Wendie Douglas of Portsmouth’s Targeted Patrol Teams (TPT) said: 

 “I would like to thank local residents for their co-operation during our enquiries. They understood why we had to close roads temporarily, and assisted with our requests, which made the situation easier to resolve swiftly.

“Although our investigation is ongoing at the moment, I would like to take this opportunity to remind people about the risks of carrying imitation firearms in public. It’s difficult, even for firearms experts, to distinguish between a fake
gun and a real weapon from a distance. Each call to police reporting a firearm being seen prompts the same response involving armed officers. Often, it’s only once the gun is retrieved that officers are able to confirm it is an imitation or BB gun. Imitation firearms and BB guns may seem like harmless fun, but by carrying one, you are putting yourself at risk. Our message is very simple: Just don’t do it..

“We are fortunate not to have a serious problem with gun crime in Hampshire, but we are never complacent in wanting to educate the public so a potential tragedy can be prevented thanks to better awareness of the risks.”

For more information about Hampshire Constabulary’s Firearms And Knife Education (FAKE) campaign, please go to our website:

http://www.hampshire.police.uk/Internet/news/campaigns/FAKE+Campaign.htm

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