PUBLISHED: 14:33 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010
ARMED officers swooped on a Biggleswade street after reports of a youth with a gun they later discovered could only fire pieces of potato. The boy was later quizzed at home in front of his parents about the toy spud gun and officers also found a BB gun. H
ARMED officers swooped on a Biggleswade street after reports of a youth with a gun they later discovered could only fire pieces of potato.
The boy was later quizzed at home in front of his parents about the toy spud gun and officers also found a BB gun. He was allowed to keep both toys.
Armed officers sealed off Winston Crescent, Biggleswade, on Wednesday evening last week after a member of the public had raised the alarm saying he had seen a group of youths pushing a car and one of them appeared to be carrying a gun.
The force helicopter was also scrambled from Luton Airport to provide air support in the hunt for the youths.
Later, officers spoke to a group of teenagers, the oldest being only 16, who told them the spud gun belonged to another youth who had gone home.
"We had no option but to bring in the armed response unit after a member of the public had reported a youth with what appeared to be a weapon in the street," said Insp John Maries.
"When we went to the youth's home we discovered the guns were toys but it is just stupidity to take even a toy weapon on the street because of the consequences that might happen.
"We have a duty to keep the streets safe and when something like this happens the armed response team is called and they have to assume someone has a real weapon and take the necessary action.
"What we don't want is any unnecessary accidents."
The youth was given a warning not to take the toy guns on the streets.
The incident comes three months after two teenagers were arrested after being spotted by officers firing BB rifles at vehicles as they passed on the A1 in Biggleswade.
Police officers were on patrol on the A1 when they spotted the youths in a field. One motorist had reported his windscreen had been struck.
Insp Maries said after the incident: "The possibility of a tragedy happening because of these two idiots is just too horrific to even contemplate."
Both boys were later let off with cautions.