Men held over firearms haul

FOUR men were being held in custody today for questioning after armed police recovered a haul of imitation firearms.The men were being questioned by police in Felixstowe over suspected firearms offences after officers received an anonymous yesterday.

ARMED police were scrambled to a Felixstowe picnic area after four men were spotted with imitation firearms including an assault rifle.

The drama unfolded at around 9.10pm last night after officers received an anonymous call saying a group of men had been seen brandishing a firearm in Grove Road.

The force sent its armed support unit to the area and detained a group of young men, aged about 19 and 20, who were in two vehicles.

The officers recovered ten BB guns, including replicas of MP5, AK47 and shotgun weapons.

Four men all aged between 19 and 20 are being held in custody today for questioning.

A force spokesman said the weapons had been bought from a market and said improper use of such firearms was “grossly irresponsible”.

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He said: “Although these were merely BB guns the way they presented as replica items clearly presents danger.”

The incident comes just two weeks after a shooting rampage at the Virginia Tech University in the United States left 33 people, including the gunman, dead.

Police have praised the anonymous caller who flagged up the incident to officers.

A force spokeswoman said: “We are extremely grateful to the caller who gave us this information.

“We would urge anyone who sees similar activity to contact police.”

Since April 2004 it has been illegal to carry an imitation gun in a public place.

Forces around the country have been issuing warnings about the dangers of carrying imitation guns in public as even specialist officers have great difficulty distinguishing the imitation guns from actual firearms and have to act as if they are real.

Were you the anonymous caller or did you witness the incident? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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