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Armed police on Teesside, called to deal with reports of a man in camouflage carrying a gun, arrived to find an assortment of harmless 'superheroes' attending a fancy dress party.
Cleveland's armed response officers arrived at the scene to find a variety of Star Wars Stormtroopers and Captain America lookalikes.
It one of 30 fancy-dress related calls reported in the force area since January last year, and revealed through a Freedom of Information request.
In the vast majority of cases, no crime had been committed.
Some of the more unusual reports from across the country include:
- A terrified witness who reported a man wearing a horse's head and carrying a rifle in July. He was on the way to a fancy dress party.
- A man who was spotted leaving a garage and getting into a car with a violin case and a machine gun. He was dressed as a pretend gangster.
- An intoxicated 'witch' was given advice by police after trying to fight passers by.
"In the past we have received a very small number of reports made in good faith of people believed to have weapons on them in a public area.
"In such cases, police would have to adhere to policy that any mention of a weapon being present means that armed response officers (ARVs) would be deployed.
"Very occasionally police arrive at an incident where people present are in fancy dress.
"Officers are expected to deal with every member of the public they come into contact with courteously and professionally.
"Public safety is always paramount and, even though on these particular occasions it was quickly established that the people were in costume and the “weapons” were toy or imitation, the involvement of ARVs was justified and explained to the person or people present."
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