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Police urge Flintshire parents not to buy toy guns for Christmas

NORTH Wales Police is urging Flintshire parents not to buy imitation guns this Christmas.

Officers are warning that air and imitation guns, which include BB guns, are not toys and can cause serious injuries – and even kill.

Although gun crime is low in North Wales, the majority of people cannot tell the difference between a real gun and an air weapon.

Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard said: “We are urging parents not to purchase imitation firearms as gifts this Christmas, as use of these realistic-looking weapons in public could result in youngsters facing real armed officers.

“Youths or adults carrying them in public can cause alarm to residents who think they are real guns.

“This can trigger 999 calls and a response by armed officers.

“People must realise it is an offence to have air and imitation guns in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, and you can be arrested.

“Our message is clear – don’t put yourself or children at risk, know the dangers, know the law.”

Weapons such as BB guns are frequently used in criminal damage and anti-social behaviour offences, and have caused injury to people, pets and wildlife.

Between January and October this year, North Wales Police firearms officers attended 18 incidents involving air weapons or BB guns.