POLICE officers armed with guns swooped on a park after receiving reports of a person with a firearm, which turned out to be a BB gun. 

Essex Police swarmed a park in the East Hill area of Colchester shortly before 3pm on Saturday. 

Concerned residents had called the force after seeing someone brandishing what they believed to be a suspected firearm. 

Upon arrival, however, officers discovered a group of teenagers in the park with a BB-type gun which they had not long purchased. 

The group were subsequently spoken to about the carelessness and recklessness of their decision to take an imitation firearm to a public place. 

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called to reports of someone seen with what was described as a firearm in the East Hill area of Colchester at around 2.55pm on Saturday October 23. 

“Officers attended and established it was a group of teenagers who had just purchased an imitation BB-type firearm.

“The teenagers were spoken to by officers.”

According to eyewitnesses, the incident garnered a somewhat heavy-handed response. 

At least ten police officers with guns were spotted in the park, in addition to four police cars, two police vans, and two unmarked police cars.


A 30-year-old woman, who didn’t want to be named but lives not far from the scene, said she was worried there may have been a danger to the public. 

“I live near here and don’t want to see something like this going on,” she said. 

“There were at least ten armed officers, and so many police cars, both marked and unmarked.

“I’d like to have known what was going on, was there a danger to the public?

“Someone was saying it might have been drug dealers, but it seemed far too heavy-handed for that.”