Petrol-head Neil sparked police alert when passer-by thought his camera was a gun

Hebburn photographer Neil Arcus sparked a police response while taking these pictures. A passing motorist thought he was pointing a gun at the car.
Hebburn photographer Neil Arcus sparked a police response while taking these pictures. A passing motorist thought he was pointing a gun at the car.
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These are the pictures which sparked a police alert when someone thought the photographer was pointing a gun at another car.

Keen photographer Neil Arcus, from Hebburn, set up these shots with the help of his friends – but ended up being tracked down by police.

Hebburn photographer Neil Arcus sparked a police response while taking these pictures. A passing motorist thought he was pointing a gun at the car.

Hebburn photographer Neil Arcus sparked a police response while taking these pictures. A passing motorist thought he was pointing a gun at the car.

Another driver saw Neil hanging out of the window taking photographs, but mistakenly thought he was shooting a gun at his fellow motorist.

It happened at 6.09pm yesterday, when police received a report from a member of the public that they had seen someone in a black car discharge a firearm at a blue car while both were driving north on the A194 (M) northbound near to the junction of the A195 at Follingsby, Gateshead.

Neil, 47, said: “I was doing a rolling road shot, where you have a slow shutter speed that drags along the road and makes the car look like it’s going really fast.

“I was using a telephoto lens and sitting in the back seat of the car, pointing it out the window while my mate was driving.

Hebburn photographer Neil Arcus sparked a police response while taking these pictures. A passing motorist thought he was pointing a gun at the car.

Hebburn photographer Neil Arcus sparked a police response while taking these pictures. A passing motorist thought he was pointing a gun at the car.

“My other mate was driving the other car and what we were doing was perfectly safe. We were driving under the speed limit towards White Mare Pool from Washington, but somebody obviously saw us and got the wrong idea.

“I can laugh about it now but it wasn’t funny at the time.”

After hearing about the police appeal, Neil contacted officers to let them know he was taking photographs.

The technical sales adviser, who has been practicing photography for six years and posts under the username N2CUS Photography, added: “This was all part of a Facebook page I set up with my friend Neil Thompson.

Neil Arcus, right, and pal Neil Thompson who founded the OCPD Facebook page together.

Neil Arcus, right, and pal Neil Thompson who founded the OCPD Facebook page together.

“It’s called OCPD, which stands for Obsessive Compulsive Petrol Disorder, which is for men my age who are a bit of a petrol head.

“It’s just for like-minded people to get together for a chat, share pictures and help each other out.

“We get a bit of gratification from each other by sharing pictures of our cars and chatting about it. It’s just a friendly society of people with similar interests.”

A full investigation has been carried out into the incident and Northumbria Police say they now know there was no shooting and no firearms involved.

Neil Arcus' car.

Neil Arcus' car.

A spokesman said: “We have traced and spoken to people involved in the incident and established that they were using camera equipment to film the cars driving on the A194 at around 6pm on Sunday evening.

“We believe the person who reported this to us has seen the camera equipment being held outside of the vehicle and assumed that it was a firearm.

“The call was made in good faith and they did the right thing in reporting this to police.”

The A194 is fully re-opened and there will be no further closures in the area.

Neil Thompson's car.

Neil Thompson's car.