Anger at police response after weapons fired near Peterborough cemetery

The police response to a pair firing weapons near a Peterborough cemetery has been criticised by an eye-witness who waited in vain for officers to arrive.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 1:40 pm

Mark Taylor witnessed a man and woman discharging air rifles in woodland near Fletton Cemetery yesterday afternoon (Monday), just yards away from a public cycle path.

But despite waiting more than an hour Mark said police never showed up, allowing the pair to head off.

Officers later caught up the with man and woman and offered “words of advice” but decided to take no further action.

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The black Peugeot the pair firing the air rifles left in. Photo: Mark Taylor

Mr Taylor from Fletton said he found animal feathers at the location when he returned this morning, prompting fears the pair had been firing at wildlife.

He told the Peterborough Telegraph “I think police should have been there in five minutes if someone is discharging a firearm of any sort without permission.

“The police response was terrible.”

Mr Taylor had been out for a walk when he heard the shots, prompting him to call police at around 6.20pm.

But after police failed to arrive he called again at 7.30pm to be allegedly told that officers in Peterborough were “too busy with other stuff” and that a response was coming from Huntingdon.

However, by 7.45pm there was still no police presence and the pair, who were heard speaking Polish, disappeared.

Mr Taylor said people were picking blackberries nearby while others were cycling just a matter of yards away from where the air rifles were being discharged.

“There is a cycle path that cuts through which was five to 10 feet away from where they were firing. I had to say to an elderly man to be careful as they were firing,” he added.

“It could sound scary if you’re walking by and do not know where it was coming from.

“I was concerned about public safety - people were walking past them. You should not be discharging firearms in a public place.

“The fact they caught up with them shows they were taking it semi seriously.

“I have been down to that area this morning where there are feathers where they were doing their target practice.”

Mr Taylor said he will not be putting in an official complaint.

A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said: “We were called at about 6.20pm yesterday (September 16) to reports of a man and a woman shooting air rifles in a wooded area on Fletton Avenue, Peterborough.

“Officers were alerted and the caller was advised to stay away from the area.

“It was subsequently reported that the two people had left the area in a black Peugeot 107 and it appeared they had been shooting wildlife.

“Officers attended the address of the suspects and words of advice were given around the laws of firing air rifles.

“The officers who attended felt the advice was understood, and as such no further action will be taken at this time.”