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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
'Hand' gun pranksters questioned
Two jokers who sparked a major police alert amid fears they had a gun were armed with nothing more than a hand, officers say.

Norman McKenzie, 34, got into his friend Roger Haslope's car, held his hands in a gun-shape to the other man's head and joked: "This is a carjacking."

But when worried passers-by saw the incident in Swindon on Monday, armed police were called in.

After being held for 12 hours, the two were released with a warning.

'Proportionate response'

Mr McKenzie was issued with a fixed-penalty notice, carrying an 80 fine, for swearing on arrest.

Superintendent Richard Roland said: "Following police inquiries, the initial report of a firearm could not be substantiated, and during police interview, both men admitted they had been fooling around.

"Any such calls from members of the public are taken seriously and in the absence of any other information we would respond to each and every firearm incident as if it was the real thing.

"The protection of public safety is an absolute priority for us, and based on the information received at the time, our response to the incident was appropriate and proportionate."

Mr Haslope told the Swindon Advertiser: "We were just having a laugh."

Pair arrested after gun sighting
04 Apr 06 |  Wiltshire

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