POLICE have explained to the Pioneer why they did not attend when we reported youths brandishing a gun outside our office.
Our newsdesk staff dialled 999 at 2.08pm on Thursday, September 13 after seeing a gang of five males and a young girl waving the weapon around.
We were then called back by Cheshire police’s control room in Winsford who asked if we suspected it was a replica.
Although we had found the discarded packaging from a BB gun at the scene after the youths walked off, at the time we had feared it might be a real firearm.
But no officers have ever been to see us or look at the BB gun packaging and, to our knowledge, have still not visited the scene – an alleyway running behind the shops in Whitby Road.
Cheshire Constabulary spokesman Glyn Hellam explained: ‘Following the report of youths with what appeared to be a handgun, the incident was graded as ‘immediate response required’ – the highest grading allocated by Cheshire police.
‘Unfortunately, September 13 was an unusually busy afternoon and all available officers were dealing with other incidents.
‘These ranged from concern for the safety of a young girl to domestic abuse and sexual assault.
‘We recontacted the informant to explain this and were told that packaging had been found which suggested the weapon was an imitation firearm. So we made contact with the CCTV control room which monitored the youths to ensure no further crimes were committed.’
He added: ‘Obviously, we take all incidents of this nature extremely seriously. We’d ask any member of the public who has further information to contact us on 0845 4580000.’