POLICE are urging people who are planning on shooting on land to notify them in advance.

Firearms certificate holders and those using air weapons with lawful authority on land are advised to make police aware.

The request follows an incident last week where a concerned member of the public saw a man wearing camouflage clothing carrying what appeared to be a rifle from a car.

The Northumbria Police helicopter was scrambled and an armed response was deployed. The weapon was inspected by firearms officers and found to be a legal air rifle.

Temporary Superintendent Bruce Storey said: “Most landowners who allow authorised shoots and firearms certificate holders going to organised shoots do already inform police.

“However, 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.

“If you are planning on carrying out a vermin shoot, or a clay pigeon shoot, and your presence with a firearm may alarm someone, contact police and let us know.”

Anyone with information about shoots should contact police on 03456 043043.