Firearms incident in Salford serves as a stark reminder of the demand on officers
Shortly before 9pm on Saturday 15 August 2020, a concerned member of the public called the police reporting that there was a group of individuals with a gun on Phoebe Street in Salford. Due to the nature of the report; specialist armed officers were quickly deployed into the area to conduct a search.
Three teenage boys – all aged 15 – were arrested and have since been released under investigation.
One teenager was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm or imitation with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of cannabis.
Another was arrested on suspicion of firearm or imitation with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of an offensive weapon. The third boy was arrested for possession of a firearm or imitation with intent to cause fear of violence
Two suspected guns, which were later confirmed as BB guns, were also recovered.
Chief Inspector Chris Boyd, of GMP’s Specialist Operations team, said:
“This was a really frightening incident for members of the public and one that meant we had to deploy a lot of specialist resources to the area swiftly. Whilst we have now confirmed that the weapons were BB guns, this does not alter how seriously we must take reports of this nature and just goes to showcase the variety of incidents we get called out to across the force on a day to day basis. This was a real and serious incident which required the deployment of armed officers and numerous other resources. In fast moving situations it can be difficult to distinguish between real firearms and toys and firearms officers have to make split second decisions.
“This comes at a time when we’re facing unprecedented demand on our 999 lines and it’s hard to ignore this context. It is incidents like this one, which could have had much graver consequences, that we need to prioritise and need to be responding to quickly.
“Yet, due to the colossal demand on our call centres at the moment, there is real concern that next time, someone in serious trouble may not be able to reach us. I would ask people to really consider this context when next picking up the phone. It’s absolutely imperative that people only call 999 when in an emergency.”
“Thankfully, on Friday (14 August 2020), despite a 55% increase on 999 calls when compared to the same day last year, we were still answering the phone within 24 seconds. This couldn’t be done without the help of the staff across the force, so I would also like to say a huge thank you to them.”