Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 11:06 UK

Three arrested over toy gun prank

Three teenagers who sparked a police search after driving through Kent wielding a toy gun have been criticised for putting pressure on resources.

A woman called 999 after she saw the trio in a car in Minster last Thursday, pointing what looked like a silver handgun at passing traffic.

Specialist officers from the Kent Police firearms unit were deployed alongside a number of local patrols.

An 18-year-old man and two boys, aged 17 and 15, were arrested.

PlayStation gun

They have since apologised to the police.

The 18-year-old was given a police caution, the 15-year-old was reprimanded and the 17-year-old was released without charge

The gun was found to be a silver plastic PlayStation gun.

Det Insp Ged Boulton said: "We quickly established it was a youthful prank, but nevertheless the police had to take appropriate action to ensure people's safety and maintain public confidence.

"Their actions put additional pressure on our resources and the time spent dealing with situations such as this could impact on our ability to deal with genuine incidents as well as the preventing and detecting of crime."

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