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POLICE are reminding outdoor enthusiasts to give them prior warning if they are taking part in shooting on land.

Officers have seen an increase in the number of reports from members of the public about seeing people carrying guns in public - an issue which tends to happen around this time each year.

The calls, although made out of genuine concern and in good faith, often relate to people hunting with air weapons or organised shoots that the police haven’t been made aware of.

Responding to these incidents takes up resources and time which could be avoided by those involved informing the police beforehand.

Police are advising those taking part in preplanned or organised shoots to contact officers in their local area and let them know when and where the shoot will be taking place.

They are reminded that they must have permission from the landowner for a shoot to take place.

Any farmers or landowners that are planning to shoot on their land or organise a shoot should also contact police in advance.

This allows officers to be aware of the event and respond to any members of the public who ring in concerned.

Northumbria Police Superintendent Mick Pearson said: “The calls we get around this often turn out to be organised shoots where those taking part haven’t thought to inform the police.

“We tend to see a rise in these kind of reports when the nights get lighter and more of these events are taking place.

“Anyone taking part in or organising a shoot where weapons will be present should let us know when and where it’s happening.

“A phone call on the 101 number is enough to let officers know what’s going on and can be a huge help when dealing with calls from the public.”

Officers are also warning anyone using weapons on private or public land without permission, and the necessary legal authority, that they face arrest and possible prosecution.