03 November 2017
A man who sparked a major police response following a misguided prank in Poole has been dealt with by officers.
At 5.30pm on Wednesday 1 November 2017 Dorset Police received reports that a man entered the Dancing Moose public house in Station Road in Ashley Cross wearing a balaclava and with canisters taped to his body with duct tape.
The man did not say anything and left shortly afterwards.
An extensive search was carried out involving the police helicopter and armed officers in order to locate the man and protect the public.
Subsequent enquiries established that two other men appeared to be with the man filming the incident.
One of the men involved contacted Dorset Police after seeing an appeal issued by the Force. He told officers it was a prank, that the canisters were rolls of packing tape and no viable device was involved.
Following subsequent enquiries, the man who walked into the pub wearing the fake canisters voluntarily attended Poole police station on the evening of Thursday 2 November 2017 and was interviewed.
The 24-year-old local man fully admitted a public order offence for causing alarm and distress and an offence under the Criminal Law Act for wasting police time.
He told officers he was very sorry for his actions and has accepted a community resolution disposal and has agreed to write letters of apology to both the pub and the member of public who called 999. All three men involved will be visited by armed police officers, who will explain about the police response and give words of advice and education.
Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Callaghan, of Dorset Police, said: “This misguided prank sparked an immediate police response which saw extensive resources deployed to the scene to ensure members of the public were protected. While these officers were looking for the individuals involved they were prevented from responding to legitimate emergency 999 calls.
“The actions of this man was irresponsible and nothing short of idiotic.
“We always have to treat a reported threat as genuine until we can establish otherwise. I am satisfied this was a hoax and that no members of the public were at risk. This was a fast-moving incident and I would like to thank the public for their patience and understanding during this incident and praise the professionalism of the officers deployed.”
Did you see anything? If you have any information to share, please get in touch
Get in touch