Staffordshire Police have seized a gel gun and issued a boy with a community resolution notice following a recent incident in Stafford.
A number of forces across the UK have been experiencing an increase in these incidents recently – with local reports involving people using the guns to cause intentional fear and alarm within the community.
Most recently, at 8am on 17th July 2023, police were called to Chell Road after a group of people were shot at by a group of youths in a moving car.
Fortunately the pellets did not harm the group, but concerns were raised and we sent local officers to track down those responsible.
A short time later, police found the suspect car and spoke with three people inside. One of the boys, a 17-year-old from Stafford, admitted to firing the gel gun and surrendered it to officers.
He was then issued with a community resolution notice and spoken to firmly about his behaviour.
This comes following a spate of incidents across Staffordshire recently, with more than 40 gel gun reports coming in so far this year.
Staffordshire Police would like to reiterate that these toy guns are a significant cause of concern for us. They are being used to intentionally cause panic and alarm within local communities and can easily be mistaken as real firearms.
Concerned residents often report these guns to the police inaccurately, resulting in firearms officers being sent to places they don’t need to be and potentially putting those in real life emergencies at risk.
These gel guns, which are typically sold as toys, are also capable of causing serious injury if they hit someone in their face.
Although no serious injuries have been reported in Staffordshire, officers across all ten of our local policing teams are taking action to find those responsible and put a stop to their offending.
Chief Inspector Giles Parsons, of the Stafford Borough local policing team, said: “Our stance on these gel guns remains the same across the entire county – we won’t tolerate them and we will continue to target those responsible.
“Whilst the decision was made on this occasion to issue the boy with a community resolution, those who are using these toy guns in an anti-social manner are likely to face arrest if they are caught.
“I’d encourage parents and guardians to check that their children do not own one of these toy guns and speak to them around the implications of using them to engage in anti-social behaviour.
“Engaging in this trend is going to concern residents, drain police resources and potentially land you in trouble.
“Work is continuing to investigate all of the reports we’ve received, identify those responsible and put a stop to this issue – and I’d encourage the local community to continue reporting these incidents to us so we can take appropriate action.”
To report an incident, call 101 or message us using Live Chat on our website – www.staffordshire.police.uk
In an emergency, always call 999.