POLICE are appealing to air weapon owners in Burton to be responsible when using them after a recent spike in incidents across the area
Senior figures from Staffordshire Police have issued the plea in a bid to ensure that people know that issues involving the weapons can cause ‘nuisance and worry’.
Recently, a cat had to have its leg amputated after it had been shot by, what is believed to have been, an air rifle in Newborough.
In a separate incident, specially trained armed officers were called to an incident involving the discharge of air weapons in a public place in the area.
Insp Rob Neeson (pictured), deputy commander of the East Staffordshire local policing team said: “East Staffordshire, like many other parts of the country, does experience air weapon misuse.
“Not only are air weapons dangerous and can kill, but when misused, are a major cause of nuisance and worry in our communities.
“People carrying or using air weapons, BB guns or fake guns could face the possibility of being confronted by armed police officers.
“Someone reporting a firearms incident to the police doesn’t usually don’t know whether it is a real gun or not and even the most experienced armed officers can find it difficult to tell the difference when they initially respond to a reported incident.
“It is illegal to carry an imitation firearm in public and the consequences could be very serious.
“If you carry a BB gun in a public place, you are potentially risking your life if someone sees it and calls the police.
“When the police arrive, they will not know for sure that it is a BB gun. Even trained police officers have great difficulty distinguishing these guns from actual firearms and have to act as if they are real. “
Anyone who has any concerns about air weapons in the area is being urged to call police on 101.