A MAJOR police operation was triggered after a man carrying a gun from his car was spotted.
Armed police were called to the scene and the police helicopter was scrambled after a concerned member of the public saw a man dressed in camouflage clothing carrying what they thought was a rifle from a car near Seaham Grange roundabout last week.
The man was traced by police and his weapon was inspected by firearms officers, who discovered it was a legal air rifle.
The incident has brought a warning from police who are urging people planning to go shooting on land to alert police in advance.
Temporary Superintendent Bruce Storey, of Operations Command, said: “Most landowners who allow authorised shoots and firearms certificate holders going to organised shoots do already inform police.
“Occasionally we have incidents where a call to police could have prevented us having to use inappropriate resources.
“What we would ask is that people think about how their actions may be perceived by a member of the public.”
Call police on 03456 043043 if you need to alert them.