Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Oxfordshire road signs damaged by gunfire

The RAC says it is a "widespread phenomenon"

A number of road signs in an area of West Oxfordshire appear to have been shot at with a gun.

At least six separate signs have been vandalised in Burford, Shilton, Carterton and Brize Norton.

A gun expert said he did not believe the incidents were related to more serious criminal activity.

Thames Valley Police said it had not heard of such incidents before, but urged people with information to contact the force.

'Widespread phenomenon'

Bill Harriman, Director of Firearms for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, condemned the action.

He said: "I can't believe that anybody who has an ounce of responsibility in them would use [signs] for a piece of target practice.

"It is possibly very dangerous."

The RAC Foundation said it had also received reports of similar incidents in other counties and it was a relatively "widespread phenomenon".

Spokesman Philip Gomm said: "We are concerned that anybody is using a firearm on roads, legally or illegally, putting motorists' lives at risk and the lives of the general public."

Oxfordshire County Council said it was aware of the signs being damaged and had contacted police.

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