16/10/2015

Man Arrested Over False Firearms Alert

A man has been arrested for wasting police time after allegedly sparking a firearms alert with a bogus 999 call reporting an armed man near a Birmingham supermarket.

Armed police were deployed to Sainsbury's in Castle Vale at around 17:30 on Thursday, 15 October, when the alarm was raised over a man seen with a handgun.

CCTV operators directed officers to the suspect − who had been described in meticulous detail by the caller − and minutes later they moved in to detain him in Cadbury Drive.

No weapon was found and, when enquiries were made into the mobile used to make the 999 alert, officers found it belonged to the 'suspect' they'd stopped.

Force Incident Manager, Chief Inspector Simon Richards, said: "Around 20 officers were involved in total, in addition to control centre staff and resource allocators, while the force helicopter had also been primed ready for take-off before it became clear what was unfolding.

"The man was arrested for wasting police time and has spent the night in a police cell…he will be spoken to today about the incident. This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and anyone found to be wasting police time can expect to be arrested."

(MH/CD)

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