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PSNI probe Police investigating after young boy finds high-powered air rifle in Belfast park

The weapon is believed to be a high-powered air rifle, which are illegal to own without a licence in Northern Ireland.


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Image from a video of a child recovering an air rifle from Pitt Park in east Belfast

Image from a video of a child recovering an air rifle from Pitt Park in east Belfast

Image from a video of a child recovering an air rifle from Pitt Park in east Belfast

A high-powered air rifle, discovered by a child playing in east Belfast, has been removed by police for examination.

A video posted on social media shows a child around seven or eight years old removing the rifle from behind a wooden wall mural.

The weapon is believed to be a high-powered air rifle, which are illegal to own without a licence in Northern Ireland.

Children are thought to have come across the gun while playing and informed an adult who went back to the area to investigate.

The air rifle was recovered and police were called and asked to collect the weapon and take it away for further investigation.

A spokesperson for the East Belfast ACT Initiative accused "criminal elements" living in the area of leaving the rifle in a public place, close to where children were playing.

The loyalist restorative justice group said residents had contacted them concerned that young children had found a suspected rifle in the Pitt Park area.

"The PSNI have been informed, as they have been repeatedly about ongoing anti-social behaviour, assaults, threats and general criminality in the Pitt Park area," a spokesperson said.

"We would urge all residents to continue to report criminality to the PSNI and ensure that a crime number is obtained."

Tensions have been high in the area for some time.

Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) councillor Dr John Kyle said "any weapons in circulation in east Belfast would be something of concern".

"Given tensions in the area in recent months, one would consider the discovery of weapons to be taken seriously," he added.

On Saturday a 44-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a female community worker in her 60s. She was released pending further investigation.

Over 20 people have been arrested and three people charged with affray following an incident in February when around 60 masked men were seen walking around the Pitt Park area.

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A police spokesperson said: "Police were made aware of concerns regarding a suspected air rifle which was found by a member of the public yesterday evening (Sunday, April 18) in the Pitt Park area of east Belfast.

"The item has been recovered for further examination and an investigation is ongoing".


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