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Updated issued 1 April 2023
This is an update following the incident in Malton on the morning of Thursday 30 March when officers responded to reports of a man with a gun.
We can now confirm that a man was arrested the following day on suspicion of carrying an air weapon in public.
He has surrendered the weapon into police custody and has been issued with a police caution for carrying an air weapon in public.
We are satisfied that he did not intend to cause any alarm to any members of the public.
To reiterate, on the day of the incident, following a thorough search of the area and further investigation, we were satisfied that there was no heightened threat to the public or schools in the area.
A number of our officers remained outside local schools to provide reassurance and engage with worried parents and students.
Once again we thank the schools who reported their concerns for their quick-thinking to protect their pupils and staff from potential harm.
Statement issued 30 March 2023
Those in Malton may have noticed a heightened police presence in the town over the past couple of hours.
We hope this statement will provide some reassurance into what took place.
Just before 12pm we received an understandably worried call from a school in the area after a member of the public contacted them regarding a man acting suspiciously close by.
As a result, the school initiated their own lockdown procedures and contacted other schools in the area, who did the same. Armed officers and the NPAS helicopter were deployed to the area.
Following a thorough search of the area and further investigation, it appears there is no heightened threat to the public or schools in the area.
A number of officers are outside of local schools to provide reassurance and engaging with worried parents and students.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Paul Gibson-Hodges, said: “We completely understand the worry and panic this incident has caused, nothing upsets us more than thinking children are at risk and we now know this is not the case.
“A man was seen with a weapon, possibly an encased shotgun, by a member of the public near a school in the town. Further investigation has suggested the man left the area and headed towards a rural location away from people and property.
“At no point has the man spoken to anyone or made any suggestion anyone was at risk.
“The schools should be praised for their quick-thinking to protect their pupils and staff from potential harm. However, we do ask that members of the public refrain from speculating about this incident as this is likely to cause more distress to the children in the area.
“If you are a parent of a child in one of the effected schools you may want to talk to your child about this incident. There are lots of websites with excellent information on how to approach difficult subjects, including CBeebies and the NSPCC.”